April 28, 2006

KiM Info Newsletter 28-04-06

Serbian, foreign writers and artists visit Metohija and Visoki Decani Monastery

Bishop Teodosije sincerely thanked the participants in the "Pilgrimage and Brotherly Love" campaign who came to encourage the faithful of Metohija during these paschal holidays. He especially thanked Austrian writer and dramatist Peter Handke for the solidarity he has shown for years toward the suffering Serbian people from Krajina and Bosnia to Kosovo and Metohija. The visit to Orahovac, Velika Hoca, Zociste, Visoki Decani Monastery and the Pec Patriarchate was organized on the occasion of the paschal holidays by the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija and the Association of Writers of Kosovo and Metohija

 
Bishop Teodosije and Fr. Sava with famous Austrian writer and dramatist
Peter Handke in front of Decani Monastery church (Photo by Darko Dozet)
(click on photo to enlarge)

KIM Info Service
April 27, 2006

On Tuesday, April 25, a group of Serbian and foreign writers and artists visited Visoki Decani Monastery together with several displaced Serbs from the Orahovac region. They have been visiting Metohija for the past two days as part of a campaign called "Pilgrimage and Brotherly Love".

Prior to stopping at Visoki Decani Monastery participants in this noble campaign visited the village of Retimlje near Orahovac where a number of Serbs were kidnapped and killed during the course of 1998. Together with members of the Kostic family, which lost 14 of its members during the war, the writers and artists lit candles at the Orthodox cemetery now completely overgrown with weeds. On that occasion the group of writers was exposed to verbal attacks by local Albanians. The members of the Kostic family visited their native villages of Opterusa and Retimlje for the first time in almost eight years. Protosingel Petar, the chief priest of Zociste Monastery, served a memorial service at the cemetery in Retimlje for all Orthodox Serbs buried there and those whose bodies have not yet been found.


Protosingel Petar and poet Ranko Djinovic from Metohija at memorial service
for the slaughtered members of the Kostic family and other Serbs buried
at the cemetery in Retimlje (click on photo to enlarge)

The visit to Orahovac, Velika Hoca, Zociste, Visoki Decani Monastery and the Pec Patriarchate was organized on the occasion of the paschal holidays by the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija and the Association of Writers of Kosovo and Metohija. In Visoki Decani Monastery the poets read poems dedicated to the Serbian holy shrines in Kosovo and Metohija and Svetlana Stevic sang an old song originating in the Metohija region. The guests were especially delighted by the brothers Marko (12) and Nikola Maksimovic (13), guests of the monastery from Kraljevo, who performed several traditional Serbian melodies on the flute together with Decani monk Jovan.

Bishop Teodosije sincerely thanked the participants in the "Pilgrimage and Brotherly Love" campaign who came to encourage the faithful of Metohija during these paschal holidays. He especially thanked Austrian writer and dramatist Peter Handke for the solidarity he has shown for years toward the suffering Serbian people from Krajina and Bosnia to Kosovo and Metohija.

Upon entering the town of Decani as well as upon departing from it on their way to Pec, the bus transporting the writers was showered by stones by the local Albanians, whose whistled in disapproval when the bus carrying Serbs passed. According to poet Ranko Djinovic there was some damage to the vehicle but no one was injured. Despite the unpleasant experience, the writers and artists said that they would always respond to words of derision and rocks with songs and forgiveness, recalling the words of the Gospels: "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do."

The delegation of foreign writers also included Kurt Köpruner, Thomas Diechmann and several of their colleagues from Austria, Germany and Russia. The delegation completed its visit to Metohija with a tour of the Pec Patriarchate.

 
Peter Handke lights candle with Serb elderly woman at Orthodox cemetery
in village of Retimlje (Photo by Darko Dozet) (click on photo to enlarge)


Bishop Teodosije visits Gorioc Monastery and welcomes Serb returnees to Istok

KIM Info Service
Decani, April 27, 2006

On Wednesday, April 26, Bishop Teodosije of Lipljan visited the monastery of St. Nikolaj in Gorioc and met with a group of Serb returnees who returned to Istok a few days ago.

Wishing them a happy paschal holiday Bishop Teodosije told the returnees that the Church, and especially the monasteries of Metohija who have been wholeheartedly helping returnees over the years, would extend a brotherly hand to them, too, and help them to stay and survive in their centuries-old homes that are undergoing restoration. The role of the Church is not to concern itself with politics but to help its faithful and to always remain with them whenever it is necessary, always demonstrating the path of hope and endurance taught in the Gospels, emphasized Bishop Teodosije.

The sisterhood of Gorioc Monastery have given all their help and love to the newly arrived returnees, overjoyed that from now on their church will be full of the faithful who are returning to their homes.

 
Houses for Serb returnees slowly being built in Metohija
Shown in photo - houses for Serb returnees in Zociste near Orahovac
(click on photo to enlarge)


First group of returnees finally lodged in Istok

ISTOK, April 26, 2006 (Beta news agency, Belgrade)

The first group of Serb returnees to Istok, who have been temporarily staying in the nearby monastery of Gorioc since Thursday, finally moved into the transit center in the village of Ljug, where they will be staying until their houses are restored.

 

The group of 11 heads of household expressed their determination, despite obstruction on the part of local Albanian authorities, to stay in Metohija and begin restoration of their houses in accordance with the plan approved by UNMIK, the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija said in a written statement.

 

The Red Cross and the Coordinating Center have prepared adequate supplies of food and hygienic supplies in Ljug, as well as folding beds and basic household items.

 

There are plans to restore 50 destroyed houses in the village of Ljug near Istok. Reconstruction will begin on the basis of a contract the returnees signed in February with the German organization THW.

 

A group of 20 returnees to Durakovac, i.e. the village of Blagaca, was admitted to the transit center last weekend.


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