Tell No Lies"
The Human Rubble of War
by James T. Phillips
July 20, 2002
America's Best Political Newsletter
rubble has been removed from Kosovo, carted away and buried
in the same earth as the human victims of war.
years after the bombs stopped dropping from the sky, the destroyed
homes and shops owned by Albanians have been replaced by thousands
of new structures. Kosovo's re-building program has been very
successful, providing Albanians with housing that would satisfy
wealthy arms merchants and retired generals. As targets of
both sides during the 1999 war between Yugoslavia and the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Albanians suffered
and lost throughout a conflict that lasted 78 days. Construction
of the new multi-story buildings has been an integral part
of the international community's efforts to restore dignity
and respect, as well as shelter, to the Albanian population
of the Serbian province of Kosovo.
evidence of that terrible conflict visible in 2002 are the
remnants of the Serb and Roma communities and, unlike the
78 day plight and flight of Albanian refugees in 1999, their
conflict has lasted for more than one thousand days. Only
a small fraction of the pre-war ethnic minorities remain in
Kosovo, living in semi-protected enclaves where shelter is
a luxury and freedom is a fading memory. The Serbs and Roma
live in small houses, crowded apartments, sagging tents, bug-infested
shacks and pre-fabricated boxes. They also live in unrelieved
fear of their Albanian neighbors, protected by an international
cadre of soldiers and police officers more often interested,
with a few heroic exceptions, in earning money than in providing
a safe and secure environment for Kosovo's ethnic minorities.
and Roma are the human rubble of war. FULL
text by J.T. Phillips
THE SERBIAN ZOO IN KOSOVO
2002 - Serb Reservations - Did you come to see a zoo?
Counterpunch, by James T. Phillips, June 20, 2002
Location at Dragodan,
only a few hundred meters from the
main KFOR HQ where uninentified Serb bodies were burried
after they were found massacredby Albanian extremists during their
terror rule after the war (LARGE
23 July 2002
OF 10 SERBS EXHUMED IN PRISTINA
- The remains of ten Serbs have been exhumed from a mass grave
in the Pristina suburb of Dragodan, stated pathologist Slavisa
Dobricanin, the director of the Office for Exhumation and
Identification of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija,
on Monday. He added that the bodies of Milka Djilas and Gordana
Djuric have been identified. Their remains will be turned
over to their families on the administrative border of Serbia
and Kosovo by the end of this week. Ten bodies were
exhumed and we have almost completed identification of them.
In two cases the results are certain and the bodies will be
turned over to the families during the course of the week.
We have taken DNA samples from the other eight at the request
of the families. So far a total of fifteen people have been
identified; five more, or a total of twenty, have been exhumed,
samples from the remaining eight bodies will be sent for analysis
to a laboratory in Tuzla in order to identify the bodies,
he said. So far the remains of Sasa Komatovic and Vladan Stanojevic
of Kragujevac, soldiers of the Yugoslav Army; Petrija Piljevic
of Pristina; husband and wife Milosava and Miladin Kostic
of Pakastica; and Romanies Gafor Fazli and Avdija Celic of
Preoce have been turned over to their families.
where a Serb body was found in 2000
at Osojane village
July 21, 2002
Continuing the action - Let us rebuild our holy sites with prayer
- Bishop Artemije served today a holy Liturgy in Osojane, near
Klina. Osojane village is the first location in Kosovo and Metohija
where organized return of Serb IDP's has been realized. Since
the very beginning the Church has been supporting the returnees.
Service at Osojane
LEFT WITHOUT ANY VISIBLE KFOR PROTECTION,
19, 19.00 GMT
the afternoon an information came from Velika Hoca that Turkish
soldiers which provided security in Zociste monastery in the
last few days had already withdrawn and that the monastery was
left without any visible guard. Local Serbs interpret this move
as a consequence of pressures by Albanian extremists and a way
for KFOR to avoid a conflict with them.
Fr. Nektarije in
front of Zociste Monastery ruins
IS NOT IN POSITION TO PROTECT THE MONASTERY OF ZOCISTE AND SECURE
Bishop Artemije decided to withdraw the monks
Gracanica, July 19 , 2002
commander of the Multinational Brigade South Brigadier General
Wolf-Dieter Skodowski and the political advisor to gen. Velentin
(COMKFOR) Mr. Maartens de Sitters had a meeting today with Bishop
Artemije and hieromonk Sava (Janjic) at Gracanica Monastery.
The main topic of discussion were the events at Zociste monastery
in the last four days. Despite his sincere willingness to assist
all kosovo.netmunities, as he stated, gen. Skodowski informed
the Bishop that he is nevertheless not in position to provide
protection for the reconstruction of Zociste monastery. He stated
that "it is necessary first to change the thinking of the
local population". Bishop could not accept such an explanation
as valid because in that case, he said, "Serbs would have
to wait another 1000 years to rebuilt their homes and churches".
expressed his deep indignation with this decision because it
is absolutely impossible to understand that a KFOR brigade of
6200 soldiers in its area of responsibility is not capable of
providing security for reconstruction of at least one destroyed
Orthodox holy site, three years after the war. Prizren area
is known as a part of Kosovo and Metohija where only a few Serbs
still live and since the end of the war not a single organized
return project has been carried out there. Almost 20 Orthodox
churches destroyed by Albanians after the war in this part of
Province still lie in ruins.
ago the idea of reconstruction of Zociste monastery was supported
by the US and German office, as well as Kosovo's PM Rexhepi.
Regrettably, after the discussion with the German general today,
Bishop Artemije was left no choice but to give up this idea
and withdraw to Decani Monastery three monks which were patiently
waiting in Velika Hoca to be allowed to live in Zociste. Bishop
Artemije expressed serious concern that if such unconstructive
KFOR policy were continued Kosovo and Metohija would become
completely monoethnic society. Reconstruction of Zociste monastery
had to be a first post-war reconstructed Orthodox holy site
which would encourage return of Serb IDP's in the area.
with two high profile KFOR officials has proved the fears of
the Diocese that the general security situation in Kosovo and
Metohija is so unfavorable that it stands in complete contrast
with public statements in which highest KFOR and UNMIK officials
so persistently claim that considerable progress has been made.
Further reduction of KFOR personnel, without basic elements
of security for all citizens, would be a grave mistake which
would only encourage extremists and discourage non-Albanian
the progress which has been achieved so far by the UNMIK/KFOR
Mission has only affected Kosovo Albanian population whereas
the position of Serbs, their human and religious rights, have
not been improved at all and still depend on whims of local
Albanians and mercy of international authorities. After these
Zociste events It is quite evident that it is not Serbs who
do not want to go to their homes and holy sites, but Kosovo
Albanians who prevent this process and international mission
which is incapable of creating necessary security conditions
envisaged by the UNSCR 1244 (#10.k)
Zociste events have demonstrated clearly that true winners in
such a situation are only Kosovo Albanian extremists, which
seriously puts KFOR and UNMIK credibility at stake.
caption: Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren holds press conference
Bishop Artemije on the latest in a series of attacks on
the Monastery of Holy Anargyroi in Zociste (from left: Dragan
Velic, Randjel Nojkic, Bishop Artemije, Dr. Rada Trajkovic, Media
CHANGES FOR THE BETTER
we served holy liturgy at the remains of the Monastery of Holy
Anargyroi in Zociste, Albanian extremists finished what they
had already begun and set what little of the monastery remained
on fire, said Bishop Artemije, adding that during the
liturgy itself, there was a series of provocations by the local
Albanian population which had gathered. Although he personally
had asked the commander of the German brigade responsible for
the security of that region to secure the monastery because
such incidents could be expected, this was not done.
said that KFOR also refused to guarantee personal security for
three monks who were supposed to have begun to clear the site
of the monastery fire on July 15 and to attempt to rebuild what
could be rebuilt. This only shows that KFOR is continuing with
its three year long practice of failing to respect the resolutions
of the United Nations and that it is neither succeeding nor
wants to succeed in providing security for the local Serb people,
concluded Bishop Artemije.
still travel in KFOR escorted convoys in Kosovo
three years after the war
Nojkic, a member of parliament from the Return Coalition, said
that the situation is similar in the Kosovo parliament itself.
The statements of Serb representatives are either omitted from
official records altogether or they are falsified; therefore,
the work of the parliament serves only as a façade for
what the Albanians intend to achieve and what they probably
will achieve unless the present situation changes.
the chairman of the executive board of the Serb National Council
of Kosovo and Metohija, emphasized that an accurate and complete
list of refugees and displaced persons has not been completed
to this day. If this is not done, it may well happen that these
people will not be permitted to return to Kosovo and Metohija
other hand, added Rada Trajkovic, Albanians are coming from
every corner of the world to register to vote in the upcoming
local elections. Even Albanians from Macedonia who have never
lived in Kosovo and Metohija are registering, so it may happen
that the Albanians will be in the majority even in those places
where none of them ever lived.
Serbs enter Zociste
monastery, July 14th
UPDATE FROM ZOCISTE
GENERAL SAYS THAT HE WILL NOT GIVE PROTECTION FOR RECONSTRUCTION OF
threats instead of protection!
17, 2002 22.00
has just confirmed to the ERP KIM Info-Service that he received a
letter from the commander of the Multinational Brigade South (Brigadier
General Wolf-Dieter Skodowski). In his letter the German general informed
the Bishop that the MNB (South) will not provide security for the
reconstruction of the monastery in Zociste and that the Church will
take upon herself responsibility of something happens. Furthermore
General Skodowski indirectly threatened the Bishop that he may suspend
protection of other Orthodox Christian sites in the area of his responsibility.
This letter of
General Skodowski has finally made clear that KFOR is not willing
to grant protection for reconstruction of an Orthodox monastery which
was destroyed by UCK/KLA extremists in their very presence. The true
reason for such a position is that KFOR does not want to risk a conflict
with Albanian extremists which have still not been disarmed. Almost
twenty Serbian Orthodox churches have been destroyed in the South
of Kosovo and Metohija after the deployment of German forces and no
perpetrators have been arrested so far. Among destroyed churches are
the churches built in the 13th and 14th century.
The position of
General Wolf-Dieter Skodowski is considered by the Serbian Orthodox
Church as an act of most profound arrogance, cynism and hostility.
General is of course free to suspend protection for the Serb population
and churches in his area but it is him, not the Bishop, who is going
to bear responsibility in front of law and God for any eventual casualty
or damage made to Orthodox Christian sites.
Such a behavior
of a leading KFOR general shows that stories of alleged readiness
of international community to support Serb returns and reconstruction
of their homes and holy sites is nothing but cheap PROPAGANDA. Threatening
the Bishop that he may suspend protection of other monasteries and
churches is a behavior which reminds of methods used during the Second
World War and it is very negative for the moral reputation of the
KFOR peacekeeping mission.
Church so far has had much more constructive cooperation with the
German KFOR and the position of General Skodowski is a regretful exception
in comparison to his predecessors.
- three years of internationally granted peace
KFOR OFFICER ORDERED FR. PETER TO DELETE VIDEO TAPE FROM ZOCISTE
and Turks prevent Serb monks to return to their holy site?
17, 2002 20.22
Fr. Peter (Ulemek)
from Velika Hoca confrimed this evening to the Information Service
ERP KIM that he has finally managed to reach the monastery of Zociste.
He was escorted by UNMIK policemen and two military policemen, although
he had not received an official permission and regular KFOR escort
from the local German commander who still refuses to meet the representatives
of the Church. In Zociste Fr. Peter could see that the monastery had
been placed under protection of Turkish KFOR soldiers. Before the
incident the monastery was not under regular protection. As he entered
the monastery Fr. Peter used his video camera to capture the latest
scenes of damage made by fire three days ago. As soon as he saw this
a Turkish officer approached Fr. Peter and told him that he is not
allowed to shoot in the monastery "without a permission".
He ordered Fr. Peter to delete the video tape immediately.
Such a behavior
of KFOR is another example of extreme arrogance which suits more to
invaders than peacekeepers. KFOR has no authorities to prevent Serbian
Orthodox clergy to visit and film inside their holy sites. Such a
gesture cannot be understood otherwise but as an attempt to hide the
failure of KFOR which could not prevent Albanian extremists three
days ago from burning the Serbian monastery, second time in the last
Diocese of Raska and Prizren will insist to excercise its legal right
and return the monks to Zociste in order to begin reconstruction.
Further behavior of KFOR will only show to the public whether the
goal of the KFOR mission in Kosovo and Metohija is to create conditions
for return of all expelled population or to help Albanian extremists
to create an ethnically clean second Albnian state in the region.
Burned Serb Monastery
STILL NOT ALLOWED IN ZOCISTE MONASTERY
July 17, 2002
Fr. Peter (Ulemek)
in Velika Hoca (nr. Orahovac) has confirmed to the Info-Service ERP
KIM that monks are still not allowed to visit Zociste monastery three
days after the incident. Since the holy service on July 14th marked
the beginning of the reconstruction of Zociste Monastery, Bishop Artemije
has already assigned three monks to organize preliminary preparations
for the reconstruction. Fr. Peter asked from local KFOR to allow them
to visit the monastery after the fire but they failed to grant them
permission and escort to the monastery without any reasonable explanation.
Such a position
of KFOR has aroused serious concerns in the Church. It is absolutely
inacceptable that KFOR blocks free access of monks to the monastery
three days after the fire which made additional damage to this holy
site. Religious rights are an essential component of human rights
and the Church will strongly insist that the Serbian Orthodox clergy
can freely visit, perform services and work on reconstruction of the
ruined holy sites. According to the UN SCR 1244 the role of KFOR and
UNMIK is to secure a safe surrounding for all ethnic and religious
groups in Kosovo and Metohija and not to allow the legalization of
ethnic cleansing performed by Albanian extremists in the last three
Serb refugees in
Serbia request to go back to their homes in Kosovo
HOPELESS FUTURE FOR MINORITIES
of the non-Albanian population in Kosovo is very difficult. Many
of them, especially Serbs and Romas, are remaining isolated in
ghettos and are faced with great risk if they go out from a ghetto
without armed escort. Their extreme limit of freedom of movement
have serious consequences on all aspects of new life - possibility
of employment, medical care, education and generally, all public
services," said Marek Nowicki in his July report to be forwarded
to UNMIK Chief Michael Steiner.
News - July 14, 21:40
Zociste monastery burned by
Albanians after Bishop Artemije
and the congregation left
Artemije serving at the ruins of
Zociste Monastery, June 14, 2002 - REPORT
Serbs Do Not Travel to the Security Council Meeting in Steiner's
Source: B92 17:21
Pristina: Members of the "POVRATAK" Coalition
will travel to the Security Council Meeting, scheduled for
July 24 in New York, only as members of the governmental
delegation of Serbia and FRY, said for the Radio B92 the
chief of the Coalition, Rada Trajkovic.
"With all respect for Mr. Steiner and other representatives
of the Kosovo and Metohija institutions, Serb representatives
from these intstitutions will not appear in the team of
Mr. Steiner, but will travel to New York in the team of
Mr. Covic, the representative of the federal and republic
government. By this we want to send a clear message to the
members of the Security Council that Serbs from Kosovo and
Metohija have clearly defined their political goal - Kosovo
and Metohija within Serbia and Yugoslavia, said Trajkovic
Albanians provoke Serbs who came to worship at Zociste, June 14