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

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JANUARY 2004

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Newsletter 31 January, 2004

Serb children in Kosovo need to learn according to Serbian educational programs

"This is yet another attempt to sever existing ties between the Serb community here with central Serbia and her institutions, and thus take one more step toward the secession of Kosovo and Metohija," said Fr. Sava Janjic on behalf of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren

Member of Terrorist Albanian National Army Arrested in Pec
UNMIK police advised that they have arrested a member of the illegal Albanian National Army in Pec without giving his identity. In a written statement, UNMIK police said the man was carrying an ANA identification card. Former UNMIK chief Michael Steiner proclaimed the ANA a terrorist organization.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, Jan 30, 2004


Newsletter 30 January, 2004 (Third Edition)

Bishop Artemije gives lecture at Western Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

While it is true that many hospitals have been restored, Serbs cannot seek treatment in them; numerous roads have been paved but Serbs lack the freedom to travel on them; tens of thousands of houses have been renovated but only about one hundred of them are owned by Serbs. After the war, all mosques were repaired and many new ones built while over one hundred Serbian churches still lie in ruins and not one has been reconstructed; there are many new supermarkets, gas stations and restaurants but what use are they to Serbs when only Albanians and foreigners can safely enter them? In short, based on his first-hand experience, the average Serb feels that UNMIK has come to help only one community while Serbs appear fated to live as second-class citizens on the margins of society, said Bishop Artemije during his lecture on Thursday in Washington, D.C.

West gives Rugova "political transfusion" through new recognitions

Thus, giving these respected European awards to Ibrahim Rugova, who has done nothing to deserve them, can only be interpreted as a "political transfusion" given by the West to a man and a political party who are losing their support among Kosovo Albanians for their inertness and corruption, while the influence of political parties stemming from the terrorist KLA grows. Since this is an election year in Kosovo, Western leaders are apparently seeking to revamp the image of Ibrahim Rugova in order to discourage Kosovo Albanians from voting for the political parties of Ramush Haradinaj and Hashim Thaci.


Newsletter 30 January, 2004 (Second Edition)

Serbs reemphasize Serbia-Montenegro sovereignty in Kosovo

Kosovo Serb representatives said at a meeting with heads of offices of the US, Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy in the province, held in Pristina late on Wednesday, that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia-Montenegro must not be jeopardised with the implementation of standards for Kosovo-Metohija.

Radicalization of UNMIK and Albanian behavior in Kosovo
Serbs have an answer: Standards should open the path to democracy and equality, not an independent Kosovo and Metohija

Serbs reemphasize Serbia-Montenegro sovereignty in Kosovo
Political representatives of the Kosovo Serbs emphasized this evening in Pristina that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia-Montenegro must not be brought into question by the standards for Kosovo.

Sovereignty of Serbia-Montenegro in Kosovo must not be questioned
Kosovo Serb representatives said at a meeting with heads of offices of the US, Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy in the province, held in Pristina late on Wednesday, that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia-Montenegro must not be jeopardised with the implementation of standards for Kosovo-Metohija.

Suspected terrorist arrested in Kosovo
United Nations police have arrested a former member of the Kosovo Liberation Army on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities.

UNMIK suspends Lipljan Municipal Council decision
The local United Nations UNMIK administrator for the Kosovo-Metohija town of Lipljan on Thursday suspended a local municipal council decision to set up a bus stop in the Serb part of that town, adopted at the insistence of ethnic Albanian deputies who have 29 seats in the local parliament, as opposed to the two seats held by local Serbs.

Russian MP in CEPA on Genocide against Serbs in Kosovo
The fundamental human rights of Serbs and other non-Albanian communities in Kosovo-Metohija are being violated to such an extent that one can speak about a true genocide without any exaggeration, Russian MP Anatoly Korobeynikov said in a paper for the current winter session of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg.

Flash News from Kosovo and Metohija, January 29, 2004


Newsletter 30 January, 2004

Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija provided financial assistance for building of the new schoool in Crkolez on the initiative of Dr. Nebojsa Covic. The shchool was built on the land parcel which was bought thanks to the donations of the Serbian Orthodox Charity Fund from the United States, particularly thanks to great efforts of brothers Robert and Mike Pavich.

A school for seven Serbian pupils

The school was consecrated by the Abbot of Visoki Decani Monastery, Fr. Teodosije, with the blessing of Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija and in the presence of representatives of the Coordinating Center of Kosovo and Metohija, the donor, and Mr. Milivoje Ribac, the head of local Serbian administration for the Albanian occupied Pec region. Although the school the Serb children attended earlier was called "Jedinstvo" (Unity), the Serbs of Crkolez enthusiastically accepted Fr. Teodosije's suggestion that the new school be dedicated to St. Sava, the first Serbian archbishop and educator, seeing that the school was opened on the feast day of St. Sava.


Newsletter 29 January, 2004

Bus carrying Kosovo Serb pupils stoned by ethnic Albanian mob

Kosovska Mitrovica, 28 Jan (Tanjug, Belgrade) - A bus which was carrying Kosovo Serb pupils between Kosovska Mitrovica and Gojbulja, was stoned by a group of some thirty ethnic Albanians in Novo Selo, northern Kosovo, around 6 pm (5000 GMT) on Tuesday.

Albanians predict Kosovo independence, Serbs strongly oppose
“We are not interested in it, we do not see our self as a part of that independence state and I think that that independence state would never be established here. As soon as possible they lose that illusion, that idea, romantic and nationalistic about the independence, I think that sooner they would direct to the real aims or as we say improved quality of the life. The Euro integration excludes the possibility of future segregation and separation by ethnic bases and the Kosovo independence would be a nationalistic creation that would separate the Serbs and the Albanians in this region by ethnic lines”, said Ivanovic, member of the Presidency of Kosovo Assembly.

Serbs with more municipalities
During their working visit to Kosovo, members of the Council of Europe came to the conclusion that the current municipalities have an average of around 86,000 citizens, and that they are way too big. Kosovo and Metohija currently has 30 municipalities. The new document predicts that main part of local self-governing would be organized in the already existing municipalities, but that these units will be divided in 180 municipal sub units ran by assemblies established thru local elections. Relations between subunits and central authorities will be clearly cut and defined.

UNMIK omission was that allowed interrethnic revenge - Cady
“In spite UNMIK efforts, four and a half years after the beginning of the UN mission on Kosovo, most members of the Serbian community who left Kosovo during and after the collisions, have still not gone back. Even tough if some of them return, most of the Serbs consider that the interethnic safety is to fragile, and unemployment to big for them to return and live in Kosovo once more,” said Cady.

(Albanian) Terrorist financier arrested in Switzerland
A statement from the Serbian security service, the Security-Information Agency (BIA), said Ridvan Rashiti headed an organization “in charge of providing financial support for Albanian terrorists in Kosovo and southern Serbia.” The BIA said Rashiti was affiliated with the Albanian National Army, a group of armed guerrillas branded “terrorists” by the former United Nations chief in Kosovo, Michael Steiner.
Pressure made on Kosovo Serb schools to introduce ethnic Albanian syllabus
The Kosovo Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has launched an action the aim of which is that Serb schools in the province introduce an ethnic Albanian syllabus to be drafted in Pristina, the Kosovo-Metohija coordination centre warned on Tuesday. Chief of education in the region of Kosovska Mitrovica Predrag Stojcetovic told Tanjug on Wednesday that the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija would not accept the authority of Pristina and Albanian institutions in education.

UNMIK postpones standards progress report
The United Nations mission in Kosovo will not, as previously announced, submit a progress report on February 6 to the UN Security Council on the implementation of the Kosovo Standards document, UNMIK official David Carne Ross said today.

Serb man released in UN murder probe

United Nations police have released a Serb man arrested two days ago on suspicion of involvement in the murder of UN police officer Satish Menon in August last year.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, January 28, 2004


Newsletter 27 January, 2004

St. Sava's Day

The feast of the most popular Serbian saint celebrated in Serbian Orthodox churches throughout the world

Bishop Artemije supports Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija
"The founding of a ministry for Kosovo and Metohija under the present circumstances would be disastrous for the interests of the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija," said Bishop Artemije, giving his full support for the work of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija

Program for protection of key cultural monuments adopted
Program for restoration and protection of cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija adopted at a meeting of representatives of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija, the Serbian Ministry of Culture, the Serbia-Montenegro Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Serbian Orthodox Church

Pacifica Radio USA: Wesley Clark Admits Targeting Civilians in Yugoslavia
Since the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia, General Wesley Clark has not answered any in-depth questions about his targeting of civilian infrastructure in Yugoslavia, his bombing of Radio Television Serbia, the use of cluster bombs and depleted uranium, the speeding-up of the cockpit video of a bombing of a passenger train to make it appear as though it was an accident and other decisions he made and orders he gave as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander.

Kosovo bombing prompted by US diplomat's "deception"
The state and its citizens were bombed because of Walker and his trickery," said Covic, in a reference to the killings in the village of Racak, which Walker described as a massacre by Serb security forces, a description which international investigators have since described as rash.

Radio Netherlands: NATO bombing spree revisited
Among those testifying today are former Prime Minister Wim Kok, former Defence Minister Frank de Grave and former Foreign Minister Jozias van Aartsen. The court is to judge whether the two NATO attacks violated the principles and norms of international humanitarian law and whether the Netherlands might be held responsible.

NYT: Source for USA Today reporter disputes details of Kosovo Article
A human rights advocate identified by Jack Kelley, the USA Today correspondent who resigned under pressure this month, as a source for a 1999 article about ethnic cleansing in a Kosovo village disputes many of the details in the article.

News from Kosovo and Metohija


Newsletter 26 January, 2004

Covic: Serbs will never recognize independence of Kosovo

"Rugova's declaration at yesterday's session showed that he is exclusively and
only for the independence of Kosovo and Metohija. Not a single Serb will live in
an independent Kosovo and Metohija and Serbs will never recognize the
independence of Kosovo and Metohija", stated Covic at the Serbian Governments
news conference.

Rondorf: Status of KOsovo will not be solved in opposition to the will of Serbia
The Chief of the German Office in Pristina, Peter Rondorf said that the final
status of Kosovo would not be solved in opposition to the will of Serbia, adding
that that this precondition was set by the European Union.

Krstovic: Kosovo is far away from Europe
"If there is a situation in which members of one ethnic society don't have freedom of movement or security, very often there are terrorist activities undertaken against them, their property has been confiscated, and even after so long time they can not go back to their houses, than it is obviously that Kosovo is still far away from Europe", said Krstovic.

Covic appeals to UN chief to halt terrorism in Kosovo
Head of the State Coordination Center for Kosmet, Nebojsa Covic appealed to UNMIK
head Harri Holkeri to stop terrorist and criminal factors in the province and look after the interests of all national communities. Covic told a press conference that he expected Holkeri's reaction to yesterday's expose of the Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova in which according to Covic Rugova had advocated exclusively for an independent Kosovo.

Covic: Serbs will never recognize independence of Kosovo
"Rugova's declaration at yesterday's session showed that he is exclusively and only for the independence of Kosovo and Metohija. Not a single Serb will live in an independent Kosovo and Metohija and Serbs will never recognize the independence of Kosovo and Metohija", stated Covic at the Serbian Governments news conference.

Mark Baskin: No security in Kosovo
Baskin said there were three or four elements that indicate a lack of security and independence in Kosovo-Metohija, while in the first place there was no general and legal security, and added that murders and other criminal acts were continuing, which was creating a sense of insecurity.

Police help ethnic Albanian destroy a Serbian home
Vignjevic also warns: "We managed to defend ourselves yesterday, but if the threats continue and they force me to move out, the rest of 1.600 remainig Serbs in Lipljan will leave, too"

Coordinating Center calls for observing S-M/UNMIK common document
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija Nebojsa Covic said on Friday that the Serbian government demands that UNMIK respects the common document of Serbia-Montenegro and UNMIK and to enable further work of the high working group of Serbia-Montenegro and UNMIK.

George Jatras: Clark placed career ahead of nation in Kosovo
Gen. Clark's buddy in Kosovo was Hashim Thaci, the leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army which, according to the July 30, 2002, Belfast News Letter (N. Ireland), is engaged in sex slavery, prostitution, murder, kidnapping and drugs. The Daily Telegraph reported on Feb. 19, 2002, that "European drug squad officers say Albanian and Kosovo Albanian dealers are ruthlessly trying to seize control of the European heroin market ..." This is the same Hashim "The Snake" Thaci with whom Clark was photographed in a triumphal handshake after NATO forces occupied Kosovo.

Bosnian police expert details Balkan drug routes
There is excellent cooperation between Kosovo Albanians and the Muslims in Sandzak who, in turn, have good ties with the Bosniaks in Bosnia-Hercegovina. The Albanian mafia, as the third strongest European mafia group, following the Russian and the Italian mafia, has established a drug corridor from Turkey, through Bulgaria, to Kosovo. Part of the drugs from Kosovo travel through Montenegro and Albania to Italy, and on to West Europe. Another part travels through Sandzak, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia and Slovenia.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, January 23-24


Newsletter 23 January, 2004, Second Edition

Bishop Artemije on his new world tour presenting the truth on Kosovo and Metohija

After his visit to Moscow where he will have several meetings with state officials, representatives of respectable institutions and the Church hierarchs, Bishop Artemije will pay visit to the United States in February and have presentations in Washington D.C., Cleveland and Chicago. ERP KIM Info-service will cover these events on which Bishop Artemije will give his direct testimony of the catastrophic human-rights situation in Kosovo, destruction of Christian Orthodox heritage and the essential failure of UNMIK and KFOR to provide minimum security and living conditions for Kosovo Serbs five years after the NATO intervention in Kosovo.

"At the moment Kosovo Albanians are only free in Kosovo, but to be more precise they are free to do what they want and how they want. The freedom for others does not exist except in enclosed enclaves and ghettoes. This is not multi-ethnicity but a simulation of democracy and peace", this has been one of the most often repeated conclusions of Bishop Artemije.

Ibrahim Rugova - Kosovo's "Baron Munchausen"
Commentary
ERP KIM Info-service
Gracanica, January 23


Newsletter 23 January, 2004, Second Edition

Kosovo ombudsman asks NATO alliance to consider possibility of compensation for families of victims of 1999 bombing

In an open letter to new NATO secretary general of NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Kosovo ombudsman Marek Antoni Nowicki asks for consideration of the possibility of compensation for families of victims of the 1999 bombing


Newsletter 23 January, 2004

Bishop Artemije on his new world tour presenting the truth on Kosovo and Metohija

After his visit to Moscow where he will have several meetings with state officials, representatives of respectable institutions and the Church hierarchs, Bishop Artemije will pay visit to the United States in February and have presentations in Washington D.C., Cleveland and Chicago. ERP KIM Info-service will cover these events on which Bishop Artemije will give his direct testimony of the catastrophic human-rights situation in Kosovo, destruction of Christian Orthodox heritage and the essential failure of UNMIK and KFOR to provide minimum security and living conditions for Kosovo Serbs five years after the NATO intervention in Kosovo.

"At the moment Kosovo Albanians are only free in Kosovo, but to be more precise they are free to do what they want and how they want. The freedom for others does not exist except in enclosed enclaves and ghettoes. This is not multi-ethnicity but a simulation of democracy and peace", this has been one of the most often repeated conclusions of Bishop Artemije.

Ibrahim Rugova - Kosovo's "Baron Munchausen"

In his yesterday's address to the Kosovo and Metohija Parliament the President of Kosovo Ibrahim Rugova proved himself to be not only a person who is misinformed about the situation in the southern Serbia's province, but also an open fabricator of lies and an initiator of even deeper interethnic discords.

Kosovo bishop urges Russian authorities, public to help the Serb population
Bishop Artemije said it was greatly important that the situation in those two provinces be discussed time and again at international institutions, such as the UN, the UNESCO, and the PACE. The deployment of the KFOR international peacekeeping force has not brought peace and freedom to all of Kosovo's population, as the relevant UN Security Council resolution envisaged, but only to the Kosovo Albanians, the prelate pointed out. He went on to recall the province's 115 devastated and desecrated Serb cathedrals and cloisters built between the 12th and the 20th centuries. Many of them survived the 500-year-long Ottoman yoke, but came tumbling down after just a year of UN peacekeepers' control, he said emphatically.

Experts concerned over Kosovo future
Mr. Tupurkovski says it would be disastrous if the international community permitted borders to be changed anywhere in the former Yugoslavia. He believes Macedonia, where over one quarter of the population is ethnic Albanian, is threatened by Kosovo's independence. And he worries greatly about the possibility that ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and Macedonia will seek to join with Albania to form a greater Albania.

No progress in talks on return of Serbs to Podujevo
Ivica Markovic, the Coordination Center representative for Podujevo municipality, stated that no progress was made during the last meeting. "I could not say that any progress has been made because there are a lot of preconditions that have to be fulfilled. Above all freedom of movement, and then freeing of illegally occupied Serbian apartments, and the rebuilding of the destroyed houses," stated Markovic.

Church building in Prizren broken into and robbed - attacks on church property continue
The abbot of Holy Archangels Monastery near Prizren Fr. German has informed the Diocese of Raska and Prizren that upon visiting the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos of Ljevis today with a German military escort, Monk Jovan (Milojevic) found that unknown persons had broken into one of the church buildings located in the churchyard and stolen some of its contents. The building is a utility structure where miniature icons and souvenirs were formerly sold to visitors of the church.

Rugova's parliament address deepens Serbian skepticism
"In his address, on couple of occasions Rugova violated constitutional framework calling himself upon illegal and illegitimate changes of the province status. After such speeches we cannot be optimists in the return of exiled Serbs, and stabilization of the situation in the province," evaluated Ivanovic.

SNV and Coordination Center criticize Holkeri statement
The statement made by UNMIK Head Harri Holkeri that he would exert pressure on the Serbian government to solve the fate of kidnapped and missing Albanians from Kosovo and Metohija, without mention of other nationalities, is discriminating against Serb rights, assessed the Serbian National Council of Kosovska Mitrovica.

Putin: Moscow ready to participate in fair solution of Kosovo problem
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow is ready to take the most active part in the fair resolution of the Kosovo issue.

Flash News from Kosovo and Metohija, Jan 22


Newsletter 22 January, 2004, Second Edition

Goranies, Muslims and Turks in the Shar Mountain Zupas of Serbia

http://www.rastko.org.yu/rastko-gora/zbornici/gora2000_e.php

YU ISSN 0350 – 7599

SERBIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES AND ARTS
Committee on Kosovo and Metohia Studies
GEOGRAPHICAL INSTITUTE "JOVAN CVIJIC", SASA


Newsletter 22 January, 2004

Albanian throng in Djakovica attacks German KFOR vehicles with Serbian Orthodox monks and German TV crew

The gathered Albanians made a lot of noise and began to verbally attack the monks and German soldiers with the most vulgar expressions. They then began to pound on the chassis and windows of the vehicle using their feet and hands, and to throw balls of frozen snow. The German soldiers noticed that during the furious attack one of the bumpers of the minibus was almost broken off (see photo left), which was later repaired. In the meanwhile, the horrified ARD German state television crew, which had been filming the nearby ruins of the Serbian Orthodox church blown up by the Albanians in the summer of 1999, frightened out of its wits, jumped into one of the vehicles and the entire column raced at breakneck speed as far as the Italian military base a few hundred meters away. Several civilian passenger vehicles of angry Albanians immediately set out after the KFOR vehicles and stopped only when the two minibuses and the German transporter literally crashed through the ramp of the Italian KFOR military base, stated Brother Bojan Dejanovic of Holy Archangels Monastery, an eyewitness of the incident.


Newsletter 21 January, 2004, Second edition

Belfry of Church of Holy Archangel Michael in Stimlje set on fire
Arson attack, not a "children's game"
After the recent desecration of the church in Gornja Brnjica in Pristina, Albanians set fire to belfry of Church of the Holy Archangel Michael near Stimlje

Belfry of the church of Holy Archangel Michael set on fire by ethnic Albanians
After the recent desecration of the Holy Apostles church in Gornja Brnjica near Pristina, ethnic Albanians set fire to belfry of Church of the Holy Archangel Michael near Stimlje. After today's visit of the delegation of the Church to Stimlje the general conclusion is that this can be nothing but an arson attack.

UNMIK police report adds more oil to the fire.. (commentary by Fr. Sava Janjic)
After five years of constant ignoring of systematic destruction of the Serb religious and cultural heritage, which was either ascribed to some unknown attackers or even Serbs themselves, UNMIK police now finds another way of avoiding their own responsibility. intentionally publishing a shameless lie that the fire in the belfry of the Stimlje church "was accidental, caused by children playing".

Unprecedented arrogance of Finnish KFOR - Communique of the Diocese
The behavior of the Finnish battalion is not only shameful for all of KFOR but is resulting in worsening relations between the Serb population and military forces who by their passivity and irresponsibility are openly placing themselves on the side of the Albanian extremists, forcing the Serbs to increasingly view them as occupying forces

Four years of experience has forced us to reject further cooperation.... interview with Bishop Artemije for the "Svedok" (Witness) Belgrade Daily

After everything our people in the southern Serb province have gone through in the past four years, including cooperation with the international community which offered us many programs and promises, we have gained little or nothing. I openly told Holkeri that under the circumstances in which the Serbs are living, we cannot participate any further in their programs and concepts. Four years of experience has forced us to reject cooperation to our own detriment and our own destruction.


Newsletter 21 January, 2004

Kosovo Serbs do not want to participate in collective suicide

Let's be clear. The Serbs are not against humanitarian standards and improvement of their lives but are against the entire context of so called "Standards for Kosovo" which in its essence represent a revision of the UNSC Resolution 1244. The mandate of Mr. Holkeri, as he said on his meeting with Bishop Artemije in Gracanica a few days ago, is to implement the Resolution 1244. The Resolution consists of certain clear provisions which have not yet been implemented and it appears that UNMIK has no intention to implement them at all. The most important of them which should be realized prior to the final status settlement are: Kosovo Province as a substantial autonomy within Serbia-Montenegro, return of S-M personnel to the borders and in vicinity of the patrimonial sites, return of all refugees. Instead of these provisions UNMIK is offering another set of standards which de facto means creation of completely independent Kosovo institutions which will serve as a basis for the secession of the Province.


Serb returnee in Novake village attacked by two Kosovo Albanians
In the Serbian village of Novake, in the municipality of Prizren, southern Kosmet, one Serb was attacked by two Albanians from the neighboring village of Trnje, the spokesperson of the regional police in Prizren, Fatmir Djurdjialo, announced.

Serbs in Kosovo institutions are only for decoration
The deputy of the Coalition "Return" in Kosovo parliament, Rada Trajkovic declared that Serbs "Haven't managed to do anything for their community in the Kosovo institutions and that they act only as decoration". "A logical question comes, why we are here at all, while regarding that the Serbian community don't have a chance to get any kind protection through these institutions, said Trajkovic for Novi Sad's daily "Dnevnik".

Bogdanovich - UNMIK will implement standards without Serbs
"We requested the unconditional implementation of returns, the vacating of usurped property, a different privatization process, recognition of the right to restitution, restoration of the cultural heritage of the Serbian people, the transformation of the Kosovo Protection Corps but none of our recommendations, in fact, were accepted," said Bogdanovich. "Europe needs to say whether it is in favor of the creation of new mini-states in the Balkans, and it must determine whether it supports a multiethnic, multicultural and multiconfessional society in Kosovo," emphasized Bogdanovich.

Le Mond Diplomatique - Fragile Status quo in Kosovo - an airplane without a pilot
The future of Kosovo is not only uncertain but is being kept consciously indeterminate. As long as the Serbian population in the north still has no protected rights of existence, a discussion about the future international law status of the region is out of the question. The temporary administration by the UN mission (UNMIK) is not a long-term solution, either. And the expectation that the Albanian majority of Kosovo could renounce the aim of independence in exchange for the long-term prospect of EU membership is an illusion. The rejection of this view could instead give new impetus to Greater Albanian irredentism.

Flash News from Kosovo and Metohija: 17 - 20 January 2004


Newsletter 20 January, 2004

Special Edition
The printer friendly version of the text in PDF format (with photos) is available at:
/gschism.pdf (367 KB)

View of the Orthodox Church on the "Great Schism" of 1054

Manifestation of fundamental differences

The "Great Schism" according to Orthodox tradition, is not just an unfortunate convergence of historical events, cultural estrangement of the Germanized West from the Orthodox East or a rhetorical disagreement based on linguistic misunderstandings, but a visible manifestation of numerous fundamental theological differences between the teachings of the Orthodox Church and papism, which carried out a radical revision of the authentic Christian faith and transformed Christianity into a humanistic religion, turning the Church, which is Body of Christ, into a religious organization.


Newsletter 19 January, 2004

"Racak case" in public focus again

Berliner Zeitung, Saturday, January 17, 2004
No interest in fallen Serbs

Work of the Hague tribunal in Racak case criticized
Markus Bickel


Newsletter 17 January, 2004 (Second Edition)

Uneasiness in Velika Hoca - German KFOR removed the checkpoint for the sake of "further normalization of the situation"

Serbs who work in the municipality still travel only with escort and the only two Serb members of KPS are not allowed to wear guns like their Albanian colleagues - Great concern for protection of valuable cultural heritage in Velika Hoca.

When KFOR representatives give briefings on the security situation in the Orahovac municipality they present it as stable and positive, which is used as a main argument for continuation of reduction of troops. But when Serbs, on the basis of this "security improvement" request a step forward in respect of their human rights, freedom of movement and return of refugees and monks to the neighboring village of Zociste, KFOR representatives are quite reserved and cannot give their guarantees. According to their security assessment the local Albanian population is still hostile towards Serbs and they say that they cannot provide safe return of refugees and monks to Zociste.

Diocese of Raska and Prizren concerned
If, God forbid, Serbs are attacked by Albanian extremists after this latest KFOR decision I am afraid, KFOR and UNMIK will bear direct responsibility.

New NATO chief pledges support on Kosovo visit
Newly-appointed NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer pledged Friday that alliance peacekeepers would remain committed in Kosovo, on his first official visit to the UN-administered Serbian province. "I have come here on one of my first days in office to show the continued commitment of NATO to Kosovo," Scheffer said after meeting the top commander of NATO's Kosovo force, known as KFOR, Lieutenant General Holger Kammerhoff.


Newsletter 17 January, 2004

Bishop Artemije meets with UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri in Gracanica

Bishop Artemije gave Mr. Holkeri a copy of the book "Crucified Kosovo", explaining that not one of the monasteries and churches mentioned in the book has been restored. On the contrary, new instances of church desecrations continue to occur, like recently in Donja Brnjica on the eve of Christmas: "What the extremists have not blown up with explosives, local institutions are attempting to finish off in a different manner, like the recent attempt to usurp the Church of Christ the Savior and the property on which it is built in Pristina," said the Bishop. He added that such examples of institutional abuse represent a threat to Serb rights and security.

Bishop Artemije meets with UNMIK's chief Harri Holkeri in Gracanica
The Bishop emphasized that the present Kosovo parliament is well on its way to realizing an independent Kosovo, as a first step. The next step will be the creation of a Greater (ethnic) Albania. "If we did not have this experience behind us, it would be easy to give you our support. As matters stand, you neither have nor can expect support from us," Bishop Artemije told the UNMIK chief.
The doors of all working groups for the implementation of standards in Kosovo are open to the Serb Return coalition and members of the Serb community in the province, governor Harri Holkeri said today.

PRAVDA: Russian Orthodox Fund horrified with events in Kosovo
Since 1999, over 120 Orthodox churches have been destroyed in the region. After his visit to Kosovo Alexander Melnik said: "We knew that destruction of Orthodox relics was catastrophic, but did not expect it was so dangerous. We say this is genocide. We expect to draw close attention of public and political organizations, Europe's influential political and public commissions to the problem of Kosovo Serbs."

RFE/RL In Focus - Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo
Although slightly decreased from the previous year, 2003 saw 42 shootings and grenade/bomb attacks in Kosovo, according to a August 2003 report from KFOR, which maintains 22,000 troops in Kosovo. One of the grimmest incidents has left the community traumatized, despairing of ever being able to enjoy security and justice in Kosovo. On 13 August 2003, an unknown person opened fire with an automatic weapon on a group of six Kosovo Serb teenagers swimming in the Bistrica River between Zahac and Gorazdevac. A 19-year-old died instantly, and a 12-year-old boy died on the way to hospital. A third teenager suffered a severe head wound.

Holkeri - we do not want a year of conflicts
I would better stick to the practical side of our mission than to the speculative one. My here is to prepare the executive plan for the standards and our time is limited, but we are in a positive mood. I understand the dreams of Kosovo politicians, and it is their top dream, because they have responsibilities to their people as well. But in the name of UNMIK I cannot promise anything, but our readiness.

Belgrade not obstructing Pristina dialogue
Emphasising that Belgrade is keen to continue the dialogue, Covic accused UNMIK of failing to ensure a multi-ethnic make-up of working groups for talks on repatriation, security, energy, traffic and transport.

Bomb in North Kosovo explodes near a house of Serb returnees, no one injured
Explosive device that is most likely to be a bomb, has exploded in the vicinity of a house renovated for Serbian returnees. Investigation at the scene of the incident ha been conducted by UNMIK and KPS, which have visited the place a couple of times. So far there have been no reports on the results of the investigation.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, 15-16 January


Newsletter 16 January, 2004

Covic and Holkeri without agreement

Serb participation in working groups impossible until the process is reverted to the foundations of UNSCR 1244
Serbian Orthodox Church expects the New Serbian Government to take a more resolute course and stop the process of gradual "kosovarization" better to say "Albanization" of its southern Province. By its tacit approval of 4 year's policy of ethnic discrimination and cleansing of the Serbian population UNMIK is no longer considered by Kosovo Serbs as an evenhanded party and has lost its moral credibility failing to prevent continuation of violence and discrimination. Kosovo and Metohija today are more monoethnic than ever in its long history, the religious and ethnic rights of Orthodox Serbs are blatantly denied while the institutions established by UNMIK are used as tools of institutional repression.

No one can force Serbs to join the working groups Covic
Head of the Kosovo-Metohija coordination centre Nebojsa Covic has said that he will meet with UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri in Belgrade on Thursday, and will inform him of a clear stand that, in a situation in which violence paralyses all processes in Kosovo, Serbs will not accept to join working groups in charge of standards modification.

St. Andrews Foundation prepares report on genocide in Kosovo
The Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called is preparing a report to PACE, UNESCO and UN on the violation of rights of national minorities (Serbs) in Kosovo and Metohija /Serbia/ and on the condition of Orthodox shrines. Many of them are already destroyed and others are facing the threat of destruction by Albanian extremists, President of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called Alexander Melnik told a press conference in RIA Novosti on the trip to Kosovo and Metohija on January

Serbs oppose removal of the checkpoint in Velika Hoca
The Serbian community of this region harshly opposed this declaration for the removal of the checkpoint. They asked KFOR to not remove the defense post, as they call the checkpoint. Dejan Balosevic is the first one that reacted against such decision taken by KFOR. "From the moment this checkpoint was set, until now no incident was registered," said Balosevic adding that the road in this village is considered of a high danger.

AFP, NATO troop numbers to be slashed in Bosnia, Kosovo
The number of NATO troops serving in Bosnia and Kosovo, which are still recovering from bitter inter-ethnic conflicts, is to be slashed by nearly half by November, a senior French minister announced on Tuesday.

Ominous rumblings in Montenegro - BALKANANALYSIS Report
However, could it not be said that every Albanian militant movement would have foundered, without massive outside attention and assistance, from the 19th century until now? Is it not true that without the overt and covert help of the West, the KLA would have been crushed in 1999, leaving little chance for the situation to get out of control in 2001 in Macedonia? And even then, had the Great Powers not supported it, that the Macedonian authorities would have eliminated the group again? In this context, it can be claimed that every Albanian liberation movement has been a virtual creation, owing its successes largely to outside forces.

Back to the Balkans - Calls for renewed intervention
Is the Balkans back in Washington vogue? After a couple of seemingly isolationist years (that were, of course, nothing of the sort) when the limelight was on the Middle East, there's been a renewed push by the forces of punditry to get the peninsula back on the Imperial agenda. Underneath dire warnings and venomous denunciations lies a hunger to revisit the scene of Clintonian triumphs as the Great Bush Adventure keeps foundering in the sand. Triumph of the Radicals in the recent Serbian parliamentary election may have provided the opportunity, but it is unlikely the renewed interest in the south-eastern corner of Europe is unrelated to the politics of the upcoming American election.

BALKANS - Millions of illegal guns threaten peace
The amnesty for surrendering illegal arms to the international peacekeeping force in Kosovo (KFOR) saw only 155 small weapons handed over until last September. International organisations say there are more than 400,000 illegally held small arms around. Weapons have run in Kosovan families for generations. The perceived need to defend themselves from the Serbian army gave Kosovans more reason to hold on to their weapons and get new ones. Little can be done immediately to change the situation, Kosovan sociologist Blerim Latifi said at the round table meeting. "Pictures of armed people in schools around Kosovo, and posters and statues of former KLA fighters with weapons keep the gun culture alive."

Terrorism threats to Olympics and the Balkans
GIS has gained significant additional intelligence from Muslim sources in Bosnia and elsewhere in the Balkans which highlights the ongoing nature of the threat, and points to a major planned terrorist attack against a US target in the near future, either in Sarajevo or Mostar, but most probably the latter. Specific new, firm intelligence on this and related matters appear in the latter part of this report.


Newsletter 13 January, 2004

Three Albanians suspected of the attack on Serbs arrested - UNMIK police denies

Jean Leroux the UNMIK police regional commander for Lipljan, told Serbs at a protest gathering in Novo Naselje today that the police have arrested three Albanians suspected of the attack yesterday in which six people were seriously injured. Very soon the UNMIK police spokesperson Derek Chapel denied the news. The KFOR checkpoint has been reestablished in Novo Naselje but the perpetrators of the public lynch have not been identified yet although local Serbs who were wounded said their names to the police.

Three Albanians suspected of the attack on Serbs arrested - UNMIK denies
Jean Leroux the UNMIK police regional commander for Lipljan, told Serbs at a protest gathering in Novo Naselje today that the police have arrested three Albanians suspected of the attack yesterday in which six people were seriously injured. Very soon the UNMIK police spokesperson Derek Chapel denied the news.

Kosovo Serbs not participating in working groups
IRepresentatives of Kosmet Serbs - Rada Trajkovic, Marko Jaksic, and Momcilo Trajkovic have pointed out that for Serbs it is not acceptable to participate in the working groups for applying standards for Kosovo-Metohija. It is UNMIK that has announced establishment of those groups.

By attacking Serbs Kosovo Albanians realize aims of independent Kosovo
IPresident of the Executive Board of the northern Kosovo Serb National Council (SNV) Milan Ivanovic said on Monday that the latest attack on Serbs from the Kosovo village of Lipljan proved that UNMIK, KFOR and interim Kosovo institutions offered a tacit backing for the realization of ethnic Albanians' aims of an independent Kosovo, since they had done nothing to prevent it.

Albanians in Montenegro form Army on the Internet - the Site is finally closed
Albanians from Montenegro formed an army on the Internet. The Deutsche Welle program in Macedonian was the first that learned about this Internet page. The interior ministry of Montenegro finally issued the statement regarding a group calling itself the "Montenegrin National Army" threatened to target important buildings and state interests in Montenegro. The threat was published on the group 's Web site, which has since disappeared.

Coordinating Center adopts 2003 statement of operation assets and liabilities
The Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija adopted statements of operations and assets and liabilities for 2003 at a Monday session chaired by Nebojsa Covic.

Bulgaria dismantles Islamic Centers
Bulgaria has dismantled Islamic centres with possible links to Saudi-funded extremist movements, the head of military intelligence, Plamen Stoudenkov, said on Monday. "There are religious centres in Bulgaria that belong to Islamic groups financed mostly by Saudi Arabian groups, that possibly have links to radical organisations like the Muslim Brothers in Egypt," General Stoudenkov said in an interview with the daily newspaper Dvevnik. He said the centres were in southern and southeastern Bulgaria, where the country's Muslims, mainly of Turkish origin, are concentrated, and "had links with similar organisations in Kosovo, Bosnia and Macedonia. For them Bulgaria seems to be a transit point to Western Europe."

Forum 18 - Religious Freedom under Islam
Henrik Ertner Rasmussen, General Secretary of the Danish European Mission http://www.daneu.dk , draws on his experience of living and studying in the Muslim world to examine how Islam understands religious freedom. He believes Muslims' attitudes to religious freedom have been shaped by the concept of Dhimmitude, under which proselytism by non-Muslims was banned, and Jews and Christians have become second-class citizens with only limited rights. He notes that a "religious supermarket" with a free choice of different products and brands has not been introduced in the Muslim world, but sees signs of hope that intellectuals and religious officials in the Muslim world are discussing new ideas openly and are suggesting reforms which could lead to greater religious liberty.


Newsletter 12 January, 2004 - Second Edition

One Serb wounded by gunfire, six others beaten - KFOR reportedly observes beating of Serbs without responding - Bishop Artemije issues sharpest protest

The Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija expresses its sharpest protest following attacks on Serbs from Novo Naselje near Lipljan. "We have had enough of hypocritical statements of 'deep concern' and 'regret'. KFOR and the UNMIK police are not tasked and paid to weep over the fate of the Serbs but to protect them from systematic Albanian terror and violence," says Bishop Artemije

Diocese of Raska and Prizren most sharply condemns the public lynching of Serbs in Novo Naselje

"The reduction in KFOR forces and removal of control checkpoints ("unfixing") being intensively carried out by KFOR is not contributing to security but leaving the Serb population exposed to terror, as today's incident confirmed." "It is a shame and a scandal that more than six months have passed without the arrest of the perpetrators of the massacre of Serb children in Gorazdevac and the slaughter of the Stolic family in Obilic," said the Bishop. "The Diocese of Raska and Prizren therefore expects the ringleaders of today's lynching to be identified and brought to justice as quickly as possible," said Bishop Artemije. He added: "We have had enough of hypocritical statements of 'deep concern' and 'regret'. KFOR and the UNMIK police are not tasked and paid to weep over the fate of the Serbs but to protect them from systematic Albanian terror and violence. If they unable to do so, they should allow the Serbs to organize themselves and protect their homes and their families."

Latest news regarding last night's and today's attacks on Serbs in Novo Selo and their medical condition

Last night (January 10) at approximately 20,00 hours, a Serb man, Aleksandar Nastic (born 1982) from Novo Naselje, located between Lipljan and Suvi Do, was attacked by unknown persons who shot him. Nastic had walked from his house to a nearby cafe when he observed a car slowing down. Suddenly an unknown person opened fire on him, shooting Nastic in the right side of the chest and right upper arm. Nastic collapsed as a result of his wounds into a nearby ditch evading three other shots. After the attackers fled the scene at great speed the local Serbs pulled him out and transported by passenger vehicle to the Finnish KFOR base in Suvi Do.

Serbs from Novo Naselje issue public communiqué

"The Serb community of Novo Naselje and Lipljan expresses its bitterness and protest following attacks in which furious Albanians are doling out [violence] in spurts with the goal of frightening and expelling the remaining Serbs," the Serbs from Novo Naselje said in a statement, assessing that the goal of this "terror is ethnic cleansing".


Newsletter 12 January, 2004

"We bombed the wrong side", said the NATO General

I once asked a NATO commanding general why ethnic Albanian extremists were not unmasked for what they truly are - bloodthirsty, war-waging terrorists. He looked at me, paused, and replied, "How do you begin to go against the very group you supposedly came to help? We obviously did not know who we were dealing with. We bombed the wrong side." (Tanja Gavrilovic, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jan 9, 2004)


The Cleveland Plain Dealer: Kosovo's terrorists continue to wage war

Albanian rebel offensives resulted in bus explosions of NATO- escorted civilian convoys, brutal murders of civilians tending their fields, random sniper attacks, shootings of children swimming in lakes, night beatings and torture of the elderly, and arson - all against Serbian civilians and all under the watchful eyes of the U.S. and international community.

Jihadist Hotbed in the Balkans: The truth is out!
The core of Bin Laden's Balkan network are the veterans of El Moujahed brigade of the Bosnian-Muslim army. It was established in 1992 and included volunteers from all over the Islamic world whose passage to Bosnia was facilitated by Al-Qaeda. The unit was distinguished by its spectacular cruelty to Christians, including decapitation of prisoners to the chants of Allahu-akbar. El Moujahed was the nursery from which an international terrorist network spread to Europe and North America. After the end of the Bosnian war, many Muslim volunteers remained ("Foreign Muslims Fighting in Bosnia Considered 'Threat' to U.S. Troops," The Washington Post, November 30, 1995).

New Albanian paramilitary group in Montenegro
If the "undervaluing of Albanians" continues, says the Montenegrin National Army it will take action against the essential strategic buildings and interests of Serbia-Montenegro.


Newsletter 11 January, 2004

Neo-Nazis selling weapons in Kosovo

According to the German daily "Mitteldeutsche Zeitung", Frank Kerkhoff, the former head of the radical right wing National Democratic Party of Germany for the Saxony-Anhalt region, and Harald Bornschain, a weapons dealer and neo-Nazi activist, opened the business with offices in Djakovica and Magdeburg.

Editorial, January 11, 2003

Success of Radical Party in Serbia consequence of wrong policy of EU and U.S. towards Serbia-Montenegro
Despite some positive incentives from the EU and the admission of Serbia-Montenegro to the Council of Europe the two main generators of disappointment for ordinary Serbs remained - the pro-Albanian international policy in Kosovo and one-sided approach of the Hague Tribunal based on the so called "Serbian collective guilt".

Controversies regarding attack on Russians in Decani continue
Today the ERP KIM Info-Service has received reliable information from UNMIK sources that several Kosovo Albanian individuals from Decani confirmed that they were eyewitnesses of the attack on the UN bus with Russian and Serb passengers. However Kosovo Police Service (which in Decani Municipality consists only of ethnic Albanians) denied that there had been any stoning.

Neo-Nazis selling weapons in Kosovo
According to the daily "Mitteldeutsche Zeitung", Frank Kerkhoff, the former head of the radical right wing National Democratic Party of Germany for the Saxony-Anhalt region, and Harald Bornschain, a weapons dealer and neo-Nazi activist, opened the business with offices in Djakovica and Magdeburg.

Nazi policy of WW2 Kosovo Albanian nationalists
Connections of Kosovo Albanian nationalists (Balli Kombetar) and Nazis in the Second World War were very well documented in historical sources. The ethnic Albanian Skenderbeg SS division committed gruesome crimes against the Serb, Jewish and Slav Macedonian population in Kosovo and North FYR Macedonia.

Independence of Kosovo does not resolve problems
Summary of the report by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs
Analysis gives little cause for optimism: Kosovo will still have to fight a long time with difficult structural, political and social-economic challenges, while at the same time the political elites in Serbia and Kosovo show little readiness to give constructive policy proposals. The premature recognition of the independence of Kosovo (or any other final status solution) could not solve the substantial institutional, constitutional as well as development and safety problems of the Province. Therefore, is to be feared that the province will remain dependent on international help a long time. Moreover, it remains doubtful whether and when Kosovo will be able to jump on the train to European integration. Therefore German and European policy will have to adjust accordingly for the long haul in the south Balkans.

A letter of an American woman regarding alleged plight of Albanians in Montenegro
What is this love affair that the West has with Islam? Our President, speaking from the White House during Ramadan, calls Islam a religion of charity, peace and compassion. Try telling that to the Christians who are being crucified in the Sudan. Secretary of State Powell has stated that we should bring in more clergy, more journalists and more educators from Islamic countries. Wasn't 9/11 enough for them? Do we want to make it easier for terrorists to come into our country to cause us further harm? Need I remind you that approval was given to the Saudi Arabian government to build their Islamic Saudi Academy?


Newsletter 10 January, 2004

Obstruction of Serb returns still continues

Bishop Artemije: "Refugee return is not up to the good will of the Albanian populations, among whom are the same people who expelled the Serbs who are now seeking to return. It is a fundamental human right for which there cannot and must not be any preconditions. This ignoble behavior on the part Klina municipal officials and the refusal of top Kosovo leader to respond to the appeal of Peggy Hicks, best demonstrate that their letter to Serb refugees of last summer is nothing more than meaningless rhetoric.


Organized obstruction of Serb returns to Klina continues - Rugova's claim refuted by events on the ground

Bishop Artemije: Return is not up to the good will of the Albanians but a fundamental human right. Bishop Artemije also criticized Rugova's claim that "Kosovo has already met most standards": "Such claims only inflict moral shame on Albanian leaders whose irresponsible claims are refuted daily by events on the ground."

Albanian National Army of Montenegro launches its Web Site
Although further comment is hardly necessary, it is obvious that another bloody "Albanian spring" is being prepared in the region of eastern Montenegro and the Ulcinj, Tuzi, Plav and Gusinje areas according to the same recipe we have already seen not only in Kosovo and Metohija but also in the Presevo Valley and northwest Macedonia. Currently the biggest bone of contention among strategists is whether to wait for the independence of Montenegro or launch a campaign while the state union of Serbia-Montenegro still exists.

Ethnic Albanians push for Montenegrin regions - KLA roving around Montenegro
One of the organisers of the petition said Albanians in Montenegro had "outgrown" the form of local government provided in the republic's municipalities. "The only solution for Albanians in Montenegro is for the territory we inhabit to be divided into three regions," Nik Djeljosaj was quoted as saying.

Kosovo Serb MP's continue boycott
The Serb member of the Kosovo Parliament's collective presidency, Oliver Ivanovic, said this afternoon that participation in the working party on implementation of standards was not possible at the moment.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, 8-9 January 2004


Newsletter 9 January, 2004

Holkeri condemns incident in Decani, UNMIK police report denies any incident

Short Editorial by Fr. Sava Janjic

Stones or Snowballs ..... No, actually, stones in snowballs
The stoning of an UNMIK police escorted bus with Russian aid workers and Senator Scheblygin was in many ways a contradictory event, at least in reactions of the UN Mission and UNMIK police. For those who were in the bus and had to change a vehicle on which a large window glass was smashed into pieces this was an immediate experience of intolerance and vandalism of a number of Kosovo Albanian citizens in Decani town. The Albanians were waiting for the arrival of the bus with Russian pilgrims and showered it with stones in the main square "decorated" by a flag of Republic of Albania, one of the largest of a kind in Kosovo Province.


Holkeri condemns incident in Decani, UNMIK police denied it in its report

Immediately following the incident (or according to some other reports in that very time), Mr. Holkeri visited the municipality of Decani, which is only a few hundreds of meters away, and spoke with the mayor appealing on tolerance towards Decani Monastery. It was only on his return to Pristina that Mr. Holkeri issued his statement condemning the incident, which was published in Serbian media (BETA Agency). However, UNMIK Police until January 8 persistently denied that there was any incident and the UNMIK police report from January 8 clearly states that "According to the report there were no incidents or disturbances due to strong security forces of different police units and KFOR".

BETA: Harri Holkeri most strongly condemns stoning of bus in Decani
Today UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri most strongly condemned an incident occurring yesterday in Decani involving the stoning of a bus transporting Russian and Serbian visitors returning from Christmas liturgy at Visoki Decani Monastery.

RIA: Serb Orthodox Church in no mood to leave Kosovo
In his words, only about 33 percent of all Serbs, who had lived in Kosovo before 1999, are now staying in the region. However, KFOR units were stationed all over Kosovo in 1999, with Serbia virtually losing that territory. The Albanians simply expelled 250,000 Serbs; meanwhile about 130,000 Serbs now live in Kosovo, Bishop Artemi noted.


Newsletter 8 January, 2004

Kosovo: No peace for Orthodox Christmas

The Orthodox Christmas season this month has been marred in Kosovo by a series of violent incidents, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. A church was broken into and several items and some money were stolen, and a bus was attacked by local Albanians at the Decani monastery after the Christmas service. The attack on the church follows an earlier attack in November 2003. Officials of the United Nations administration (UNMIK) have condemned the attacks, the latest in a series since 1999 for which no arrests have ever been made. Speaking to Forum 18 about the attack on the bus, Fr Sava Janjic of the Decani monastery described it as a "demonstration of utmost religious intolerance" on Christmas "a holiday of peace and forgiveness". "What a paradox, that the attack was made at a moment when the head of UNMIK, only a hundred metres away, was speaking with the local Decani assembly president and appealed to him to show tolerance and understanding towards Decani monastery."


Forum 18: Kosovo - No peace for Orthodox Christmas
The Orthodox Christmas season this month has been marred in Kosovo by a series of violent incidents, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. A church was broken into and several items and some money were stolen, and a bus was attacked by local Albanians at the Decani monastery after the Christmas service. The attack on the church follows an earlier attack in November 2003. Officials of the United Nations administration (UNMIK) have condemned the attacks, the latest in a series since 1999 for which no arrests have ever been made. Speaking to Forum 18 about the attack on the bus, Fr Sava Janjic of the Decani monastery described it as a "demonstration of utmost religious intolerance" on Christmas "a holiday of peace and forgiveness". "What a paradox, that the attack was made at a moment when the head of UNMIK, only a hundred metres away, was speaking with the local Decani assembly president and appealed to him to show tolerance and understanding towards Decani monastery."

Danish KFOR brutally searches Kosovo Serb village on Christmas Eve
Strongly denouncing this, as they said, barbarian act, the local inhabitants said that God knows for how many times now, a brutal search of Kosovo Serb villages and houses was being carried out on the eve of major Orthodox holidays.

Oliver Ivanovic: We don't want to be a decoration
One of the Kosovo Serbs_ representatives, Oliver Ivanovic said that Serbs don't want to be only a decoration within the working groups, but they want to have an influence at least in some issues that are with interest for the Serbian community.

Albanians stone Russian delegation in Decani
As President of the Society and extinguished artist Ivana Zigon told the Tanjug agency, some 300 or 400 Albanians participated in this incident. Prior to that, the delegation of the Russian-Serbian Friendship Society had visited, on the occasion of Christmas, the biggest Christian holiday, certain Serbian Orthodox Church Monasteries in Metohija. The incident was strongly condemned by political representatives of Kosmet Serbs.


Holkeri says lots of time is needed to settle situation
A lot of time is still needed in order to finally settle the situation in Kosovo, UNMIK head Harri Holkeri, who attended the Christmas liturgy at the Visoki Decani Monastery, said on Wednesday.

Some Macedonian municipalities will have referendum against the new territory division

Today, some municipalities, mostly rural of the western Macedonia, have organized a referendum at the end of the week against the government proposition for the new territory division. Inhabitants of those municipalities are asking to be a municipalities on their own because with the new territory division, as it is proposed by the government, the local government will be transferred to the Albanians which are majority.

Chart of Bosnian Terrorist links known to SFOR, NATO

Mr Trifunovic said that the Center for Security and Investigation of Terrorism had for some time been conducting a detailed investigation into al-Qaida_s presence in the Balkans, ie: areas which include the so-called "green transversal", the formation of which former Muslim wartime leader Alija Izetbegovic had also sought. According to him, a terrorist organization called LIVO had been formed in Central Asia which includes the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the Chinese (PRC) part of Xinjiang province1. Trifunovic noted: "This terrorist organization [LIVO] has been trying to form a green transversal in Central Asia modeled on one whose formation has already been attempted in the Balkans."


Newsletter 7 January, 2004 - Second Edition
CHRIST IS BORN - INDEED HE IS BORN!

Christmas celebrated throughout Kosovo - Holkeri in Decani - Bus with Russian pilgrims stoned after Christmas service

Harri Holkeri condemned attack on a bus with Orthodox pilgrims in Decani

The head of the UN mission in the province condemned the incident. Harri Holkeri expressed "deep disappointment" at the behaviour of a small group of Decani locals, particularly as the incident happened on Orthodox Christmas Day. (Source: Beta, Radio B92, Belgrade)

Bishop Artemije's Christmas message to the faithful of Kosovo and Metohija
"A day of peace - The birth of Christ!" How unrealistic it sounds in today's world when there are wars and killing in every corner of the planet, when horrible explosions each day in global metropolises take their toll of innocent victims, when peoples kill each other without mercy, when brothers work to crush each other.."

Holkeri extends Christmas greetings to Orthodox believers in Kosovo
"UNMIK is aware that Orthodox Christians are still living in unacceptable conditions... All of us, however, have reached a consensus according to which, in order for Kosovo to become the comfortable home of the majority living in it, it must first become the safe home of all of its peoples," Holkeri said in a statement.

Celebration of Christmas in Kosovo and Metohija - Harri Holkeri in Decani Monastery
The religious holiday of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ was especially solemnly celebrated in Visoki Decani Monastery. Holy Liturgy was served by Abbot Teodosije and the hieromonks of Decani Monastery. Over one hundred eminent international figures and believers took part in Holy Liturgy and a formal Christmas luncheon. Among the officials who visited Decani today were the chief of UNMIK, Mr. Harri Holkeri, and his closest associates, as well as representatives of diplomatic missions (the U.S. and Great Britain. The Christmas celebration was also attended by the commander of KFOR Multinational Brigade Southwest, Italian general Alberto Primiceri with his officers.

UPI, ITAR Tas - Russian Aid Workers stoned in Decani town after Christmas mass
A bus carrying Russian aid workers and journalists in Kosovo was attacked by stone-throwing Albanians Wednesday, the Novosti agency reported. The workers were from the non-governmental St. Andrew foundation, which arrived in the area Jan. 4. The incident happened after an Orthodox Christmas service involving Russian-delegation members.

Serbian Orthodox Church most strongly condemns stoning of Russian pilgrims
A bus transporting some 40 Russian pilgrims, members of the humanitarian Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called, and representatives of the Russian media who attended the Christmas celebration at Visoki Decani Monastery along with UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri were stoned by a group of about 30 Kosovo Albanians in the very center of the town of Decani despite the fact that the bus was under the protection of UNMIK police.

Celebration of Christmas Eve throughout Serbia (Gracanica, Gorazdevac...)
Several hundred Serb young men from the central part of Kosovo and Metohija organized the traditional cutting of the badnjak (yule log) near Gracanica Lake.

Flag or Republic of Albania hoisted in the center of Decani just before Christmas
On the eve of the Orthodox Christian celebration in Decani which was attended by a large international delegation headed by UNMIK's chief Mr. Harri Holkeri and representatives of the Quint offices in Pristina a flagpole with a large flag of the Republic of Albania was hoisted in the center of Decani town despite a ban by the local UNMIK chief Mr. Luis Perez and the regional UNMIK representative in Prizren Mr. Graham Williams.

Promotion of Kosovo Repatriation - an appeal without appeal yet
The returns office of the UN mission in Kosovo has invited officials in the province to attend a promotion of refugee repatriations in the Klina region. Sources quoted by Pristina daily Zeri say that Hicks has contacted senior officials of the Kosovo government to the promotion, but that none have replied.

Bishop Artemije Appeals to Holkeri to stop harassment of Serbs and the Church
"Such forms of harassment and abuse of the Serbian people, in this instance, of the Serbian Orthodox Church, are just one in a series of clear indicators that provisional institutions in Kosovo on the basis of their behavior are not only too immature for transfer of competencies but are consciously taking advantage of the existing administration to drive the southern Serbian province into further legal chaos and an even worse rule of terror and ethnic discrimination," wrote Bishop Artemije in an letter to UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri protesting the prevention of the arrival of a shipment of humanitarian assistance in the form of heating oil to the Serbian Orthodox Church from the Serbian oil company Jugopetrol

Photo report - Chief of UNMIK Harri Holkeri at Decani and Pec Patriarchate Monasteries for Christmas
January 7, 2004


Newsletter 7 January, 2004

Bishop Artemije, Serbia wasted its opportunities in XX century

exclusive Christmas interview of Bishop Artemije to the "Danas" daily, Belgrade

Even though Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija have already lived for four and a half years since the introduction of an international protectorate "without safety, freedom of movement, the right to work, exposed to attacks, robbery and murder", Bishop Artemije says that they "await the holiday of the Nativity of Christ with joy".

"Christmas is a holiday of joy for all Orthodox Christians, including the remaining Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as those who were forced to flee from it. Regardless of the conditions in which we live and the suffering through which we are passing, Christmas is, nonetheless, the day of hope, a message of peace and goodwill among men as announced by the angels during the night in Bethlehem in the song "Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, goodwill toward men (KJV: Lk 2:14)". Thus, despite the fact that the situation in Kosovo and Metohija is nowhere near where it should be and could be four and a half years after the end of the war, I hope that the Serbs who still live there will welcome Christmas and celebrate it joyously. In places where there is a living church, a priest or a monastery nearby that joy will be even more fulfilled. In many villages and homes the celebration of Christmas will be limited to folk customs accompanying this holy day and, of course, inner joy. The very awareness of the arrival of the Son of God on Earth is something that brings joy and encouragement, and gives hope that we have reason to live and something to hope for during this life on Earth."


Newsletter 6 January, 2004 - Second Edition

The latest "Christmas gift"
Orthodox church near Pristina desecrated

"The spectacle I found was horrible," the Pristina parish priest told the ERP KIM Info Service. "The vandals had scattered the holy chalice, the Holy Scriptures, the candle holders and icons on the floor of the church. After a detailed examination, I discovered that two silver candle holders were missing from the holy altar table, one icon lamp and all the money from sold candles and donations," said Fr. Miroslav.

Serbian Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter and Paul desecrated near Pristina
"The spectacle I found was horrible," the Pristina parish priest told the ERP KIM Info Service. "The vandals had scattered the holy chalice, the Holy Scriptures, the candle holders and icons on the floor of the church. After a detailed examination, I discovered that two silver candle holders were missing from the holy altar table, one icon lamp and all the money from sold candles and donations," said Fr. Miroslav

Insider opinion

Kosovo Standards and Not-so-hidden Aid Agenda, by Henry Braesal
From almost the first moment that UNMIK moved into Kosovo in June 1999, a process of "Kosovarisation" was set in place. One example was the sending home of non-Albanian employees of the electricity company KEK in June 1999 by KFOR with the promise that they could reapply for their jobs within three weeks. To date none has been reinstated. In addition, almost all non-Albanian, and in particular Serb staff, have been ejected from the hospitals, public services and from Pristina University, schools and colleges.

"Povratak" Coalition will demand explanation from Holkeri
The initial serious step by the POVRATAK coalition in response to the transfer of competences from UNMIK to provisional Kosmet institutions must be the leaving of the Kosovo-Metohija Assembly, the president of the Serb Resistance Movement, Momcilo Trajkovic, assessed. On the eve of the New Year, Holkeri transferred almost all the competences from UNMIK to provisional Kosmet institutions, save those reserved for him personally.


Newsletter 6 January, 2004

Bishop Artemije: I would not like to see a repeat of 2003

We believe that what is impossible for men is not impossible for God. If both sides are wise, a solution will be found so we can all continue living in Kosovo and Metohija together and side by side, as we have done for centuries. However, an attempt and desire by either side to force the other out of Kosovo will end in failure, said Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija in an interview for Radio Free Europe - Radio Liberty.


RFE Interview: Bishop Artemije - I would not like to see a repeat of 2003
We believe that what is impossible for men is not impossible for God. If both sides are wise, a solution will be found so we can all continue living in Kosovo and Metohija together and side by side, as we have done for centuries. However, an attempt and desire by either side to force the other out of Kosovo will end in failure, said Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija in an interview for our program

Bishop Artemije Addressed chiefs of diplomatic missions and KFOR authorities in Kosovo
The attempt of the present Municipal authorities (supported by the University and the Ministry of Education) to abrogate the decisions of the previous (Serbian) authorities and the existing laws is not only illegal, but also leads to unnecessary interethnic confrontation. The rabid campaign against Church blurs the image of the University and the Ministry of education because such patterns of behavior existed during the former communist regime or can be found today only in the countries ruled by Sharia law.

Vijesti Interview: Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral
In an interview for the Podgorica daily "Vijesti", His Eminence the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Kyr Amfilohije answered the questions of "Vijesti's" reporter concerning the results of the census, relations with Montenegrin prime minister Milo Djukanovic, the so-called Montenegrin Orthodox Church and its self-proclaimed Episcope Mihailo, the Montenegrin nation, his understanding of conciliarity...

Blic Interview: Kostunica - Decisive influence in Government and Assembly
If there is a need for a coalition government, it is necessary to first hold consultations and only then to make the decision regarding its possible formation. And that decision is not made by one man but by the appropriate party bodies, Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) president Vojislav Kostunica said in an interview for "Blic" when asked whether his party will accept the invitation of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) to [jointly] form the future Serbian government.


Newsletter 5 January, 2004

When Universities Become Tools in the Battle against Christian churches

While magnificent churches and chapels stand next to the oldest European universities, the Albanian University in Pristina continues its mad campaign with the goal of removing the Church of Christ the Savior, or usurping it for the alleged purposes of the University. If something like this were to occur in Saudi Arabia or some other country under Sharia law, I would not be that surprised. But alas, it is happening in the very heart of Europe, in a land where the Christian faith was sown two thousand years ago, and on the very eve of the Christmas holidays.... (Full text of the letter)

Editorial:

Bishop Artemije issues an open letter to the Serbian people and the international community

ERP KIM Info-Service
January 5, 2003.

In today's edition we are publishing the open letter written by Bishop Artemije, the Serbian Orthodox bishop of Kosovo and Raska regions, in which he strongly condemned the most recent attempt of the Pristina Municipality led by Mr. Ismet Beciri to usurp the legal church property with the cathedral of Christ the Savior in the centre of Pristina. Last year on January 20, 2003, the University of Pristina (in which there are no Serb students and professors) and the Ministry of Education launched a media campaign to remove the Church of Christ the Savior from the city center and it was only after severe protests of the Church that the issue was covered up by silence, however not for a long time.

The latest decision of the Municipal Assembly on December 30, 2003 was again initiated by the same institutions who continue their rabid campaign against the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral claiming that it was illegally built on the alleged University grounds. However, the Church possesses the documentation which proves that the land parcel had never belonged to the University and that the license for building the church in 1991 was quite legally obtained from Pristina municipal authorities of that time.

The Church and the Serbian community rather see the true reasons of this campaign in the attempt of certain Kosovo Albanian nationalist circles close to the University, Albanian Institute and the Ministry of Education to remove the last remaining symbol of Christianity and Serbian culture from the center of almost completely Albanized city, in which beside dozens of mosques only three churches remain at the moment (two Orthodox and one Roman Catholic).......


Newsletter 3 January, 2004

War against the Church continues in Christmas season!

Attempted usurpation of the Church property in Pristina on the initiative of the University and Ministry of Education

Serbian Orthodox Church strongly condemned the decision by the Municipal Assembly of Pristina dated December 30, 2003 to abolish its legitimate property rights over the land parcel in the center of the city on which the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior is built. The illegal decision of the Municipal Assembly of Pristina was brought on the innitiative of the Pristina University and the Ministry of Education which hold the banner of anti-Christian campaign in Kosovo by promotion of falsified history and anti-Serbian sentiments among Albanian youth. The Church welcomed the decisive response of UNMIK authorities who immediately suspended the municipal decision and expects the UNMIK chief to abrogate the suspended decision by his executive order. The Serbian Orthodox Church plans to lodge official complaints to the international organizations for human and religious rights and the Governments of the leading countries contributing to the Kosovo peace mission.

Attempted usurpation of the Church property in Pristina
This latest "Christmas present" from the provisional Kosovo institutions, which seriously violates the basic religious and land ownership rights of the Serbian Orthodox Church, provoked a very sharp response on the part of Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren who, prior to yesterday's session of the municipal assembly, sent protest letters to the president of the Municipal Assembly of Pristina, Mr. Ismet Beqiri, and the head of UNMIK, Mr. Harri Holkeri. Bishop Artemije asked UNMIK for an urgent response to the aforementioned initiative of the Municipal Assembly of Pristina and to put a stop to the institutional terror that is being carried out in a completely shameless and callous manner to the detriment of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian people in the Province.

Coordinating Center requests protection for Serbian Orthodox property
The Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija requested that UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri block the initiative of the Municipality of Pristina to take away the land parcel which is the location of the Serbian Orthodox Church of Christ the Savior.

UN transfers final government responsibilities to Kosovo institutions (2 reports)
The United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has completed the transfer of specific responsibilities to local provisional institutions as part of its commitment to gradually introduce self-government to Kosovo.

Oliver Ivanovic: Fears of pressure after the transfer of responsibilities
Kosovo parliament presidency member Oliver Ivanovic assessed this evening that UNMIK's announcement that it will appoint advisors from Kosovo institutions in areas reserved fro Harri Holkeri "is actually a transitional phase" toward the complete assumption of those responsibilities by the Kosovo government.

Coordinating Center protests transfer of responsibilities - Covic addresses a severe protest to Holkeri for promising consultative role to Kosovo institutions in UNMIK reserved competencies
The Coordinating Center of Kosovo and Metohija has lodged a sharp protest following the decision of Harri Holkeri to complete the transfer of remaining responsibilities defined by section five of the Constitutional Framework to provisional Kosovo institutions of self-administration.

Bissett: War on terrorism skipped KLA
As early as 1998, the U.S. State Department listed the KLA as a terrorist organization financing its operations with money from the international heroin trade and funds supplied from Islamic countries and individuals, including Osama bin Laden. This did not stop the United States from arming and training KLA members in Albania and in the summer of 1998 sending them back into Kosovo to assassinate Serbian mayors, ambush Serbian policemen and intimidate hesitant Kosovo Albanians. The aim was to destabilize Kosovo and overthrow Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

Macedonia: Year in Review - Macedonia 2004: Our predictions
The removal of Serbian security forces opened the floodgates, and now (with the West coming under increasing threats and violent attacks from the "friendly" Albanians) only their return could close them. Serbia's return to the province (as envisioned in Resolution 1244) would of course mean a bloodbath. Yet should Kosovo become independent, and ethnic cleansing of minorities accelerate, would anyone stop them? And, if Kosovo were to be independent, would the Albanian secessionist movement in Macedonia not increase? Indeed, while no one wants a war, there is a residual fear and feeling from all sides that things are not over yet. As one Skopje man told us the other day, "I kept my gun just in case."

War when we were not attacked - comparing Serbia with Iraq
By contrast, Serbia was never a threat to other countries. Whatever Serbia did to the people living in Kosovo, Kosovo was and remains, under American and international law, part of Serbia. Serbia had never attacked the United States or our allies, or any of its neighbors. Serbia never even retaliated when the United States was bombing its capital city, Belgrade.


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