Orthodox Church of Saint Sava in Mitrovica Destroyed by Fire
of Christian culture is continued in Kosovo and Metohija
despite 40.000 NATO troops
St. Sava's church
in Mitrovica before the fire. A Greek soldier guarding the Serbian
church situated in an Albanian quarter of the city
Service of the Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren
February 17, 2002
evening (Feb 16, 2002) larger part of the Serbian Orthodox church
of St. Sava in Mitrovica got burned in a fire which began at
21.00. This is the only Serbian Orthodox church in this nort
Kosovo city and is situated in a southern, Albanian, part of
Mitrovica. Three Serb priests and their families are only Serb
inhabitants of this little ghetto which is guarded by Greek
was extinguished before midnight thanks to the efforts of the
Greek KFOR. In the morning the French general Christian Damais
visited the severely damaged church which was built in 1896
and expressed his regret to the priests and their parishioners.
The front part of the church was completely burned and the roof
is badly damaged.
day (Sunday, Feb 17) the delegation of the Serb National Council
of Mitrovica visited the church of St. Sava. The President of
the Council Dr. Milan Ivanovic said in his statement that "all
evidence said that this was an attack on the church and that
the fire was set intentionally". UNMIK speaker in Mitrovica
Gjorgjy Kakuk on the other hand claimed that the fire broke
out accidentaly due to "either electric instalation failure
or candles". He pointed out n his statement that the church
is under constant guard of Greek KFOR and that it was impossible
for anyone to enter the church unnoticed.
of the St. Sava church say that since 18.00 Saturday they did
not have electric power at all (due to regular power shortage)
and that no candles or vigil lights were lit in the church.
They strongly rejected any possibility that this was an accident
and claimed that the fire had been set by unidentified attackers.
100 Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries in Kosovo have
been either destroyed or severely damaged by Kosovo Albanian
extremists since June 1999 and the end of the war. Many Serbs
believe that Albanian extremists are responsible for this attack
as well because Mitrovica has been one of the most volatile
flashpoints of conflict between Moslem Albanians and Christian
it is absolutely certain and clear that terrorists in Kosovo
and Metohija have thus far razed and burned 108 Orthodox
churches and monasteries, why then would there be any difference
with this, the 109th case. Those desiring to cover up terror
committed against the Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija
have to put forth stronger evidence to convince us that
it was merely carelessness, forgotten lit candles, or malfunctioned
installations. The clergy ascertain that on that day there
was no service, candles were not lit, and also that there
was no electricity that evening in the entire block surrounding
the church" reported His Grace Bishop Artemije
of Raska-Prizren to the Information Service of Serbian Orthodox
Church regarding the fire in St. Sava's church in Mitrovica.
icons in the Serb church in Mitrovica
article about the life of the tiny Serb community around the
St. Sava's church in Mitrovica: Reporter
(BL): A Jardful of Serbs, Feb. 20, 2001
Serb Orthodox cemetery in South Mitrovica, Feb 2002
Can this be qualified as an accident by the UNMIK spokesperson?
Year After the Bus Massacre
would be a great consolation if the perpetrators of this terrorist
attack were found and brought to justice", Bishop Artemije said.
One year after
the bus massacre in which Albanian terrorists killed 11 and wounded
more than 40 Serb civilians (mostly elderly and women) Bishop Artemije
served a memorial service in Gracanica monastery. Beside many priests,
monks and the faithful people Mr. Nebojsa Covic, the Serbian vice
president from Belgrade attended the ceremony. MORE
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rebels in Macedonia, former KLA freedom fighters in Kosovo, and
extremist Albanians in southern Serbia are all part of the network
of Albanian and Kosovar Albanian families who control criminal
networks in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and elsewhere,"
said a Western intelligence official in the province.
for Arms - Albanian extremists operate it seems almost unhindered
by 40.000 NATO troops and UN police
truth of Kosovo Albanian UCK/KLA terrorists, which were presented
in western media as freedom fighters during the NATO attacks on Yugoslavia,
more and more fills the international press pages now. While their
supporters riot for days throught Kosovo cities protesting the arrest
of two KLA commanders accused of war crimes against their own, Albanian
people, Daily Telegraph presents a story of how the Albanian extremists
buy millions of punds worth of weapons with the proceeds of heroin
smuggling from Afghanistan to the streets of a dozen European capitals.
spend drug millions on guns
By Christian Jennings
in Skopje, Feb 16, 2002
more on Kosovo Liberation Army
political and religious leaders calls for reconciliation and respect
human rights for all citizens in Kosovo
ask nothing more than free and dignified life for our people?
Dr. Rada Trajkovic
(a surgeon and a Serb political leader) and Bishop Artemije
IWPR Comment: Reconciling in Kosovo, Feb 1, 2002
A moderate approach of the Serb political leader in Kosovo, Dr. Rada
Dr. Trajkovic is a leader of the Serb coalition "Povratak"
and enjoys full moral and political support of Bishop Artemije, the
Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Kosovo and Metohija
human rights and dignified life and only then the question of
important priority in Kosovo Region is to ensure proper institutions
of the civil society, peace and dignity for all citizens regardless
of their ethnicity. Only when true progress has been made in
this field Kosovo final status may be addressed. Any discussion
on the Kosovo final status, especially the idea of independence
of Kosovo in the situation of gross violations of minority human
rights by the Albanian population would be a serious mistake
which would turn the province into a major factor of instability
for the SE Europe.
of terrorist attacks, rule of mafia and former KLA millitants,
destruction of Serb Christian monuments as well as absence of
basic freedom of movement for the most of non-Albanian population
shows that Kosovo Albanian political leaders have not managed
to offer any model of society different to the rule of Milosevic.
By doing so they essentially fail to understand the new processes
in Europe. It is only thanks to the international presence that
any of non-Albanian communities survive in the province and
without the NATO military presence the entire region would be
ignited again in war and bloodshed. Unreadiness of Albanian
leaders to establish basic conditions for Serbs and other non-Albanians
to live in the province a dignified life shows that Kosovo province
must remain under a long term international protectorate.
hardly speak of any true political progress in the province
when even Albanians themselves cannot find concensus over the
president and the prime minister nominations. It is true that
the number of attacks against Serbs has decreased but many fail
to understand that this is the result of total isolation of
Serbs who are almost hermetically separated from Albanians in
KFOR protected enclaves. Despite Serb open participation in
elections and their readiness to support UN sponosred autonomy
of Kosovo within FRY, so far no real improvement of life for
ordinary Kosovo Serbs has been seen.
SNC Information Service, Feb 2001
nationalism and extremism on rise...
all former Yugoslav territories progress towards democracy and leave
the nationalistic past Kosovo Albanians experience the renaiscance
of most intolerant nationalsism
in Pristina protesting against arrest of three leading former KLA
officers suspected by UN police and KFOR for war crimes in Kosovo,
Feb 1, 2002
Albanian extremism and Islamic fundamentalism remain the most dangerous
factors of instability for SE Europe - Kosovo is still a region with
the highest level of human rights violations and criminal activity
in Europe and the only place in Europe where Christian churches and
cemeteries are being desecrated with impunity
Church in Albania protests against desecration of their churches
church protests against desecration of their churches Feb 1,
TIRANA, Albania (AP) The Albanian Orthodox Church protested
Thursday against the desecration of an Orthodox church in southern
Albania, complaining about an expression of ``religious hatered.''
The church is located in the village of Dervican, near Gjirokastra,
145 kilometers (90 miles) south of Tirana, where the population
is mostly ethnic Greek.
A church statement said that the door and windows of the church
had been broken, while objects of the tabernacle and the book
of the gospel had been set on fire.
Over 60 percent of Albanians are Muslims, the rest being Orthodox
Religion had been banned in the country for almost 50 years
during the communist regime which ended in 1992 when the first
democratic government took over.
Since then the three religions have started building new mosques
and churches all over Albania to replace hundreds of places
of worship demolished under communism.
Protesting against the vandalizing of the church, the statement
said such acts had become more frequent after an Iraqi Mufti
serving in the same area for the Muslim population had been
expelled as an undesirable person in 1999.
It listed several incidents in which churches had been robbed,
set on fire or damaged, including a robbery in January when
all the icons were stolen at another church in the same location.
Since 1998, Albania has expelled dozens of Arabs living in the
country for fear they were involved in terrorist activities.
``We express our concern and protest over such acts which threaten
to harm inter-religion harmony,'' said the statement.
Former UCK Militia Arrested on Suspicion of War Crimes, Jan 29, 02
KFOR Seize Weapons, Arrest Three on Kosovo-Albania Border, Jan 30,
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