NEWSLETTER No 17


Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church

INFORMATION SERVICE
OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
B e l g r a d e

December 2, 2002

PUBLIC COMMUNIQUE FOLLOWING THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL FOR KOSOVO-METOHIJA OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH'S HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS

After listening to the field reports of those Council members who were present, the Council has concluded that, after more than three and one half years since the arrival of the international community as represented by UNMIK and KFOR, the situation in Kosovo and Metohija is not improving; on the contrary, it is deteriorating even further. This conclusion is based on the facts that even today everyday attacks on the remaining Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are occurring, as well as new murders, injuries, lootings, destructions of churches and especially during the most recent period, the frequent destruction and desecration of cemeteries.

All these known facts and others attest clearly to both the ultimate intentions of Albanian extremists to destroy every last vestige of the existence of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as the failure of the international community's mission to fulfil its promises and the responsibilities which it undertook by Resolution 1244, to enable peaceful and safe life for all, the return of all expelled persons to their homes, and respect for the fundamental human rights of all residents of Kosovo and Metohija. The attempt of those responsible from the international community to cover up the actual difficult situation of the Serbs through statements regarding the general improvement of security in Kosovo and Metohija while, on the other hand, encouraging the perpetrators to continue committing crimes is incomprehensible.

The Council was not content only with establishing the difficult situation in Kosovo and Metohija, but also undertook a series of concrete measures directed toward, on the one hand, the Governments of Serbia and Yugoslavia, which are expected to demonstrate greater engagement in cooperating with the international community in protecting the rights of all citizens of Kosovo and Metohija, as well as greater assistance to the Serbs in Kosovo and, on the other hand, toward the international community, which is firmly asked and expected to demonstrate through its engagement complete objectivity and maximum engagement in the protection of the personal and property safety of all citizens, regardless of their nationality.

The Council also calls in brotherly and fatherly fashion on the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, and especially on Serb returnees, to persist in remaining and surviving in Kosovo and Metohija, and calls on all Serbs and all people of good will to help the Serb community in this holy land.

At the same time, the Council adopted the proposal of Bishop Atanasije (Jevtic) to update the memorandum on Kosovo and Metohija as soon as possible with the latest information in order to share it with the international community. The proposal that the next meeting of this Council be held at one of the monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija was adopted with pleasure.

The Serbian Patriarchate,
Belgrade, December 2, 2002

SNC KIM
FLAG DAY CELEBRATION IN KOSOVO - DISCOURAGING MESSAGE TO SERBS AND OTHER NON-ALBANIANS
Leading Kosovo Albanian political leaders see future of Kosovo in resurrection of ethnic pan-Albanianism rather than in modern European civil and multiethnic society

Gracanica, November 28, 2002

Celebration of the so called "Flag Day" (Independence day of Republic of Albania) in Kosovo gave a clear message from the highest levels of Kosovo Albanian society that Albanian political leaders and their parties see the provicne of Kosovo exclusively as a new ethnic Albanian state, tailored only for the interests of Albanian population. Such a message of revived Albanian nationalism is seriously discouraging integration of non-Albanian communities in a society which is based on heavy discrimination against Serbs and other non-Albanian (primarily Slav) communities. Once again it becomes clear that the goal of Albanian nationalists in the Balkans remains nothing but - SQIPNIA ETHNIKE - Ethnic Albania and that its corner-stone should be independent ethnic Albanian Kosovo.

After the defeat of megalomaniac ideas of Greater Serbia and Greater Croatia which were based on attempts to redraw the new maps in the Balkans and create ethnically clean territories, Albanian nationalism in Kosovo and Macedonia is more and more emerging as a new threat for the fragile Balkans stability and EU integrational processes in SE Europe. Three years after NATO intervention Kosovo province is less and less multiethnic while the standards of human rights are not essentially improving despite international efforts.

It remains to be seen whether Europe and the international community will apply the same standards and reaffirm their message that nationalism and ethnically clean societies are not compatible with modern integrated Europe.

Instead of dreaming how to redraw the maps of Europe according to ethnic lines, peoples of the Balkans should finally turn to changing of their mind and finding ways to work together against the most urgent threats of the modern world - terrorism and organized crime. Insisting on myths and nationalistic ideas is a serious anachronism which might rekindle ethnic conflicts and thus isolate Balkans for many years apart from the mainstream of European integration.

Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija

Desecration of Christian Cemeteries in Kosovo
C O N T I N U I N G


Decani cemetery desecrated again, November 28, 2002

INFO SERVICE ERP KIM

ORTHODOX CEMETERY IN DECANI AGAIN DESECRATED

There is hardly a whole gravestone or cross left at the Serb cemetery in Decani

Gracanica, November 28, 2002

Unknown attackers have again desecrated the Serbian Orthodox cemetery not far from Visoki Decani Monastery in Decani municipality. Decani monks visited the cemetery today with an Italian KFOR escort and found that since their last visit a few days ago the graves had again been desecrated and trees cut down. The Orthodox cemetery in Decani is located approximately 1 kilometer from the monastery and only about 100 meters from an Italian KFOR check-point and KFOR headquarters.

"The cemetery looks like a wasteland and there is hardly a whole grave stone left," father Ksenofont (Tomasevic), who visited and photographed the cemetery today with the blessing of Abbot Teodosije (Sibalic), told the ERP KIM Info Service. Since the desecration of the cemetery on September 27, when the cross on the grave of Mirka Stefanovic was set on fire and burned, unidentified attackers have destroyed several more recent grave stones and broken marble plates. In addition to this, traces can be seen of the cutting down of the trees which formerly graced the cemetery.

A day earlier, on November 27, the monks observed a group of Albanians cutting down trees on monastery property. After catching them in the act, the Albanians hid in the bushes only to later threaten the monks with axes. The monastery administration filed a complaint with KFOR which promised to put barbed wire around this part of the property and around the cemetery.

The Diocese of Raska and Prizren notes with sorrow that the desecration of Orthodox cemeteries in Kosovo and Metohija is continuing and that it appears that no one is any longer able to stop these acts of vandalism which threaten to erase the last traces of the existence of the Serb people in this region.


November 26, 2002

Attack on Serb House near Obilic - Bomb attack in Gnjilane Condemned

Attacks of Kosovo Albanian extremists against Serb population in Kosovo continuing on a daily basis

INTERVIEW WITH SUSAN MANUEL

Soon Susan Manuel will leave the post of UNMIK spokeswoman in Kosovo. Ms. Manuel arrived for the scheduled interview in the Kukribar Cafe in downtown Pristina across the road from the former Yugoslav Army headquarters before me. We were late for the interview as a result of the traffic jam resulting from the visit of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to Pristina on the same day. Ms. Manuel met us on the street in front of the cafe. She agreed to answer all questions, adding: You must understand that I'm still working for UN so I have to retain a certain diplomacy. MORE

UK Times Online on organised criminal groups from Albania and Kosovo:
Our link - Times online link

Albanians and Kosovans in Britain are said to be involved in extortion, gun-running and organised theft.

The Albanians have four other advantages: like any successful mafia, they have a safe homeland and a large diaspora; the country lies on one of the most lucrative drug trafficking routes; their links to the Kosovo Liberation Army provide a supply of weapons and they are prepared to use extreme violence.

KOSOVO - DESTRUCTION OF CHRISTIAN CULTURE
BEFORE THE EYES OF THE WORLD

ESTON INSTITUTE - OXFORD
Destruction of Serbian Orthodox Churches in Kosovo

I. KOSOVO: ONE ORTHODOX CHURCH DESTROYED, ANOTHER DAMAGED
II. KOSOVO: WHO SHOULD DEFEND AND REBUILD ORTHODOX CHURCHES?

ERP KIM Info-Service, November 25, 2002
KOSOVO - FAR AWAY FROM A PROMISED LAND
Kosovo - Far away from a promised land - Albanians taking over London vice


PHOTO - GALLERY
St. Stephan of Decani Celebration, November 24, 2002

FEAST OF HOLY KING STEFAN OF DECANI CELEBRATED IN VISOKI DECANI MONASTERY

Over 500 guests from all sides participate in celebration of the patron saint's day of Visoki Decani Monastery

GRACANICA
November 24, 2002

Today the patron saint's day of the Holy King Stefan of Decani was celebrated in Visoki Decani Monastery. As in previous years, despite the exceptionally difficult conditions in which the monastery has been living in 1999, this was an opportunity for many members of the clergy, monks and the faithful to celebrate the Lord and his saint, the Holy King Stefan of Decani.

Last night on November 23 at the patron saint's day wake ceremony two young brothers of Decani Monastery took their monastic vows and took the names of Nikanor and Damaskin. This morning during holiday archierchal liturgy served by Bishops Artemije (Radosavljevic), Atanasije (Jevtic) and Grigorije (Duric) with the assistance of some twenty priests and priest-monks, Monk Andrej (Sajc) was ordained to the rank of hierodeacon. Holy liturgy was sung in alterating Church Slavic and Albanian by the monks of Visoki Decani and a group of Orthodox believers from neighboring Albania who came to the monastery's patron saint's day with the blessing of the Rt. Rev. Archibishop Anastasius of Tirana. Aslo present at holy liturgy were Italian General Fabio Mini, the commander of KFOR, and General Wolf Dieter Skodowsky, the commander of the south-west brigade, with their closest associates. Attending the monastery's patron saint's day on behalf of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija were Svetislav Stefanovic and Aleksandra Fulgosi, whereas the POVRATAK coalition was represented by Dr. Rada Trajkovic, Oliver Ivanovi, Randjel Nojkic and Dragan Velic. A formal monastery banquet in the great patron saint's day hall was shared with numerous guests who arrived in Decani with a military escort from various parts of Kosovo and Metohija, as well as from central Serbia and Montenegro.

Italian and German forces secured the monastery grounds in the most professional way. Increased measures of security were specially visible on all access roads leading to Decani. These unprecedented security measures reflect both the significance which the international mission attaches to this monastery, as one of the major centers of Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo, as well as the general deterioration of security conditions after the recent destruction of Serbian Orthodox churches and attack on the Serb pensioners in Pec.

 

KFOR COMMANDER, GENERAL FABIO MINI, TALKS WITH BISHOP ARTEMIJE

Bishop Artemije: All churches are holy places for Serbian Orthodox Church and must be protected

Gracanica, November 22, 2002

The commander-in-chief of KFOR in Kosovo, Italian General Fabio Mini visited Gracanica Monastery today where he spoke with Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija regarding the current situation in Kosovo and Metohija. The meeting took place following the most recent attack by Albanian extremists against the Church of All Serbian Saints in Djurakovac and the destruction of the Church of St. Basil of Ostrog near Istok.

Giving as a gift the book "Kosovo Crucified" testifying about the destroyed holy sites, Bishop Artemije demanded the continuation of protective measures for Orthodox churches and monasteries, especially in Metohija. "The key issue in improving the position of the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija should be the return of expelled persons, which would serve at the same time to provide long-term protection for Orthodox churches, which according to Resolution 1244 falls under the jurisdiction of the international community," said Bishop Artemije.

"The fight against terrorism is the chief requisite for normal life in Kosovo and Metohija. There is no other way to improve the situation because so many crimes have been committed, yet not one perpetrator has been brought to justice. As long as they have freedom of movement in Kosovo and Metohija, we cannot be free and your mission here is in question," said Bishop Artemije, reminding General Mini of his mandate.

"The incidents which have occurred in recent days in Kosovo have really touched upon our responsibilities; therefore, I will truly seek to fight crime and to bring all perpetrators to justice," promised General Mini, adding that KFOR will take serious action to normalize the life of all communities in Kosovo and Metohija, which includes the protection of Orthodox churches and other cultural and historical monuments. As proof of his claim, the KFOR commander promised that during this coming weekend KFOR forces would provide strong protection of Visoki Decani Monastery during the celebration of the monastery's patron saint's day, the Holy King Stefan of Decani on November 24.

Bishop Artemije said that General Mini did not refute the latest statements by KFOR that the UN military mission in Kosovo "protects only active churches and some which are of historical or artistic importance"; however, he also expressed his regret that "this news was pulled out of the context of a longer communique in which everything is explained". Bishop Artemije explained to the new commander that "the Serbian Orthodox Church has no priorities and that for her, all her churches are holy places."


=======================

RUSSIAN PATRIARCH EXPRESSES REGRETS FOLLOWING ATTACKS ON CHURCHES IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

INFORMATION SERVICE
OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

Moscow, November 22, 2002

TELEGRAM OF THE RUSSIAN PATRIARCH KYR ALEXEI

His Beatitude the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kyr Alexei II sent a telegram to His Beatitude the Serbian Patriarch Kyr Pavle today in which he expressed his regrets due to the destruction by explosives of the churches in Djurakovac and Ljubovo in the Diocese of Raska and Prizren. The text of the telegram is as follows:

IT IS WITH DEEP REGRET THAT I HAVE LEARNED OF THE NEW CRIMES OF THE EXTREMISTS, THE EXPLOSIONS IN THE CHURCHES IN THE KOSOVO VILLAGES OF DJURAKOVAC AND LJUBOVO. FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF MONUMENTS OF SPIRITUAL CULTURE THERE IS AND THERE CANNOT BE JUSTIFICATION. THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH HAS ALWAYS ADVOCATED THE PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE OF PEOPLES WHO PROFESS DIFFERENT RELIGIONS. WE PRAY THAT THE ALL-CAPABLE LORD GRANT PEACE TO THE MUCH SUFFERING REGION OF KOSOVO.

ERP KIM Info-Service, November 21, 2002
NEW INCIDENTS
Serb school-bus stoned - Albanians severely beat three Serbs
Serb Members of Kosovo Parliament protest against ethnic violence


One of the leading KLA "commanders" Rrustem Mustafa - Remi
Accused for illegal detentions, inhumane treatment, torture and murder of civilians
Associated Press Article

Holy Synod Appeals to the World to Stop
Discrimination in Kosovo and Metohija and prevent further
barbaric attacks on churches and holy sites

INFORMATION SERVICE
OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
B e l g r a d e

November 19, 2002

THE HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

COMMUNIQUE

During the night between Saturday and Sunday, November 16 and 17, 2002 the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo experienced in Kosovo and Metohija new destruction of its holy churches. Namely, Albanian terrorists with the senseless desire to erase all traces of the presence of the Serbs in this region, planted explosives and seriously damaged the Orthodox Cathedral of Serbian Saints in Djurakovac, and levelled with the ground the Church of St. Basil of Ostrog (Sv. Vasilije Ostroski) in the village of Ljubovo near Istok. Since June 1999 when the war ended, more precisely, since the arrival of the UN Administration and KFOR peacekeeping forces to Kosovo and Metohija so that they could, in accordance with Resolution 1244, assist in overcoming the consequences of war and enable the creation of a multiethnic society, according to information available to us 110 Orthodox churches and monasteries have been destroyed and demolished (according to some this number is actually 138), without one of the perpetrators of these crimes being discovered and being held accountable.

The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church is deeply saddened by this latest barbaric act of Albanian terrorists, and even more deeply disappointed in the international community which enables under its administration and rule at the beginnining of the third Christian millennium the merciless destruction of monuments of spirituality and culture of one people in the very heart of Europe. At the same time, the Holy Synod of Bishops is disappointed by the fact that the attempt of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren to begin during the summer with the symbolic restoration of one destroyed monastery (Zociste) in Kosovo and Metohija failed to gain support and understanding among representatives of UNMIK and KFOR.

For all these reasons the Holy Synod appeals to the international community to stop discriminating against the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija, to offer adequate protection for all historical, religious and cultural monuments regardless of to which people and culture they belong, to enable a peaceful and safe life for all citizens and to enable the return of all expelled persons to their homes. Only in this event can our destroyed churches be restored and further destruction prevented.

Finally, the Holy Synod extends its full support to the Bishop of Raska and Prizren, Artemije, to all clergy and monks, and the faithful people of Kosovo and Metohija to endure all the suffering and persecution which they face, having as their consolation Our Lord Christ who was crucified for us and resurrected and who will bring our suffering to an end and bequeath us peace, freedom and peaceful coexistence with all other peoples in Kosovo and Metohija. Amen! God grant that it be so!


KFOR'S decision to protect only old churches and leave the
others to the mercy of extremists is tantamount to a crime


November 20, 2002

CHURCH STRONGLY PROTESTS BECAUSE OF KFOR DECISION
Bishop Artemije: This unscrupulous statement is tantamount to a crime because it encourages criminals to destroy all remaining unprotected Serbian Orthodox churches in Kosovo and Metohija


Open Letter of Dr. Covic to Steiner

In addition to the killing of innocent people in Kosovo and Metohija the killing of churches is also continuing



Info-Service ERP KIM, Nov 20, evening edition

Alarming Situation in Obilic - Serb Appartment attacked by a bomb

Two More Serbian Orthodox Churches attacked in Kosovo

In an Albanian terrorist attack Church of St Basil was levelled to the ground and the Church of All Serbian Saints heavily damaged


Church of St. Basil of Ostrog at Ljubovo


Documents on some Serbian Orthodox churches
destroyed after the war
Destruction of Serbian Orthodox heritage in Post-war Kosovo

REACTIONS:
Reactions of Bishop Artemije, Dr. Rada Trajkovic, Fr. Sava Janjic
Commentary by Fr. Sava


Press statement of the Diocese

GRACANICA
November 17, 2002

Early this morning Albanian extremists attacked two Serbian Orthodox churches in the Pec area and caused great material damage. The ERP KIM Info Service confirmed this information this morning with UNMIK officials. At approximately 24:00 hours in the Church of All Serbian Saints in Djurakovac, some 20 kilometers east of Pec, three powerful explosions took place which completely demolished the church interior. One of the newer churches, it was built in 1998 and under constant KFOR protection until two months ago. It is located in the very center of Djurakovac next to the main road from Pec to Mitrovica.

Not far from Djurakovac, in the village of Ljubovo (located between Istok and Banja) at approximately 6:00 hours this morning the Church of St. Basil of Ostrog the Miracle Worker, built in 1939 was blown up and completely destroyed. This church was also under the constant protection of KFOR since the summer of 1999, protection which has since been discontinued. The Albanians looted this church several times. The last incident occurred on June 24 of this year when the church was broken into and an old wooden crucifix in it set on fire.

Neither of these two locations is any longer inhabited by Orthodox Serbs, who were forced to leave in June 1999. In Djurakovac immediately after the war, in the summer of 1999, the ancient Church of St. Nicholas (Sv. Nikola) dating back to the 14th century and containing precious frescoes from the 16th century was completely destroyed. After this attack the Orthodox cemetery was desecrated and a 100 year-old oak tree in it was cut down.

The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren, and Kosovo and Metohija most strongly condemned these most recent barbarian attacks by Albanian extremists on Serbian churches and demands that KFOR immediately re-establish checkpoints near all endangered Orthodox churches. It is absolutely unacceptable to conduct experiments with sacred edifices built over many years through the laborious efforts of believers. The Diocese also demands an immediate investigation and that the person who committed this crime be brought to justice.

Attacks on two churches in a single night demonstrates once again that the intentions of the Albanian extremists remain to erase the last traces of the existence of the Serb people, their culture and history in this region. It represents a serious challenge to UNMIK and KFOR, especially after last week's statement by Michael Steiner in Berlin that security in Kosovo and Metohija has improved significantly and that the UNMIK mission has achieved a great success. The recent attack on Serb pensioners in Pec, frequent desecrations of cemeteries, and these most recent attacks on churches speak eloquently in the language of fact that not even minimal security exists for Serbs in this area and that security cannot be improved by propaganda but only by decisive action against extremists and their political mentors. It is tragic that so far not one perpetrator in the destruction and desecration of more than 100 Orthodox churches since the war in Kosovo and Metohija has been found nor brought to trial. No one has been held accountable even though these crimes were committed in the presence of more than 30,000 KFOR troops before the eyes of the entire world.

Furthermore, it is a disheartening fact that not one Serbian church destroyed since 1999 has yet been restored. After persistent efforts toward the reconstruction of Zociste Monastery near Orahovac (founded in the 14th century), Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren in a recent conversation with German general Dieter Skodowsky received the concrete response that the Albanians do not want the monastery in Zociste to be restored and that KFOR is unable to protect restored churches which would again find themselves under attack by the extremists. This response clearly demonstrates the acceptance of the rule of terror and ethnic violence as accomplished facts which the international community apparently does not intend to change.

THE PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH
BY THE ALBANIAN EXTREMISTS IN THE PAST

THE HISTORY IS REPEATING


Desecrated Orthodox Graveyard 1987
Desecrated Serbian Orthodox Monuments and Graveyards 1987



The Burning of the Patriarchate in Pec 1981

 Destruction of Devic Monastery 1941

Suffering of Christians - Requiem for the Serb beheaded by an Albanian 1903

The Virgin of Ljevis Cathedral was converted into a mosque

 An Albanian Extremist Killing an Orthoedox Priest in 1941

Destruction of Christian Orthodox churches, desecration of graveyards and
murders of the clergy were often used as a method by Albanian Moslem extremists
to blot out all traces of the Serbian presence in Kosovo


WW2 Genocide - Albanian SS Skenderbey Division

Kosovo problem as seen by NYT journalist David Binder in 1987
Kosovo for Absolute Beginners

 


From a Kosovo Albanian protest rally

ERP KIM Info Service
Albanians blocked the town hall in Podujevo in protest against return of Serb refugees
After the recent attacks on Serb returnees in Pec and Grmovo, a new incident was avoided in Podujevo thanks to UN police

Podujevo, November 14

A three-member Serb refugee delegation visited the north-eastern Kosovo town of Podujevo yesterday to discuss the possibilities for the returns with the municipal working-group. The meeting was organized on innitiative of Michael Werling, the UNMIK civil administrator of Podujevo. The Serb delegation was headed by Caslav Bojovic, the president of the Refugee organization "Vidovdan".

During the meeting a group of at least one hundred K/Albanians surrounded the town hall loudly protesting against the Serb returnees. It was only thanks to the urgent action of UN police that an incident was avoided. After two hours of siege a Serb delegation was evacuated by the UN police from the town hall and taken to the admnistrative boundary to Serbia proper at Merdare.

Bojovic explained that the meeting was specially focused on security issues as well as the strategy for reestablishing normal life for the Serb community in Podujevo municipality. After this incident, says Bojovic, it is a serious question whether there is any point of discussing this issue with K/Albanian representatives any longer. It is obvious that Albanians not only want the return of Serb refugees, but they do not want to see a single Serb on their territory, Bojovic said to the media.

It is estimated that before 1999 the number of Kosovo Serbs in Podujevo Municipality was around 1650, of whom half were in Podujevo town. The only two elderly Serb women living in Podujevo town after the conflict in 1999 left under severe pressures and discrimination in the beginning of 2001. Presently only 27 Kosovo Serbs live in a small enclave Sekirace, near the administrative boundary to Serbia proper, under KFOR military protection. All Serb property in Podujevo town and the neighboring villages has been devastated or illegaly occupied by Albanians. In February 2001, at Livadice village, Kosovo Albanian extremists blew up a Serb bus which was under KFOR escort. In this terrorist act 11 were killed and 40 injured (among them women and children). Perpertrators of this attack have never been brought to justice.

This latest incident in Podujevo (like the previous incidents in Pec and Grmovo) shows that Kosovo Albanian community in general remains hostile towards return of Serb and other non-Albanian refugees and stubbornly pursues the idea of ethnic clean Albanian society, which is contrary to the goal of the international community to reestablish multiethnicity in southern Yugoslav province. In all incidents it is evident that local Albanian political structures except of formal statements made no concrete efforts to promote the ideas of tolerance and multiethnicity and isolate extremists.

Three years after the conflict in 1999 Kosovo remains a human-rights black hole of Europe and a serious factor of regional destabilization, which is documented in recent reports by the EU Human Rights Commisioner, Kosovo's Ombudsman and the Special UN Envoy for Human Rights.


The oldest manuscripts and books from Kosovo and Metohija
were written in Cyrillic by Orthodox monks in monastic scriptoria


November 14, 2002

DIOCESE OF RASKA AND PRIZREN SEEKS PROTECTION OF RIGHT TO USE CYRILLIC SCRIPT IN PUBLIC LIFE AND ADMINISTRATION
Text of the Press Statement

Other topics:
Steiner on Kosovo Status - More landmines in Klokot - Albanian gangs are underworld threat - UNMIK rejects appointment of Sen. Bob Dole as KOsovo's honorary ambassador to Washington D.C.

Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur
Date: 7 Nov 2002

Serbs seeking to return stoned by ethnic Albanian teenagers

Pristina (dpa) - Eight Serbs seeking to return to their homes in Kosovo under United Nations escort were stoned Thursday by Kosovo Albanian teenagers, who also injured a Jordanian serving in the United Nations police force, a U.N. official said. The attackers were 30 teenagers in the village of Grmovo in eastern Kosovo.

The eight Serbs displaced earlier from Kosovo and currently living in central Serbia came to Grmovo escorted by officials from the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) and by U.N. policemen to see the conditions for returning to their village, according to Andrea Angeli, a spokesperson for the U.N. mission in Kosovo.

"After their arrival they were attacked by a group of some 30 Albanian teenagers,'' Angeli said.

The situation was broken up with the arrival of American soldiers serving in the NATO-led peacekeeping force (KFOR), who are responsible for security in eastern Kosovo.

The Jordanian police officer was hit by a rock in the head, while one person involved in the incident was arrested, a U.N. official said.

NATO intervened in the ethnic clashes in 1999, when Serbian civilians and military tried to drive ethnic Albanians out of Kosovo. The territory is administered under a United Nations resolution.

Three years later, an uneasy peace prevails, with the ethnic Albanian majority seeking independence for Kosovo and the Serb minority wanting Kosovo to be returned under proper authority of Yugoslavia and its dominant republic of Serbia.

Although Kosovo has remained legally a part of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, its final political status has yet to be decided.

The international administration which runs Kosovo is trying to repatriate Kosovo Serbs, who fled to Serbia and Montenegro and now fear to return because of revenge attacks.


Democratic Serbia is a home for all religious and ethnic groups
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia and Yugoslavia, HRH Princess Catherine and Bishop Artemije visited the mufti of Sanjak in Novi Pazar

BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN GRACANICA

Bishop Artemije and Dr. Rada Trajkovic informed the British Foreign Secretary about the real situation of the Serb community and asked his support for the decentralization of Kosovo and Metohija

November 6, 2000

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw arrived early this morning in Kosovo and immediately upon his arrival met with Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren, and Return (Povratak) Coalition caucus head Dr. Rada Trajkovic. The talks in the residence hall of Gracanica Monastery lasted one half hour.

Bishop Artemije emphasized that the visit of the British minister is very significant and that "for the Serb community it represents encouragement and support to remain here". "The British minister's visit is proof that someone is thinking of us, too; Mr. Straw came directly from the airport to Gracanica to talk with us," said Bishop Artemije. He added that during the brief talks both he and Dr. Rada Trajkovic attempted to acquaint the British official with the real situation of the Serb community, and that he believes "this visit will help us to stay here and the expelled to return". The bishop said they also discussed the decentralization of government in Kosovo, expressing the hope that this program will also be supported by the British foreign minister.

Dr. Rada Trajkovic confirmed in a press statement that during talks with the British foreign secretary she received firm guarantees that all crimes committed against members of the Serb community during the conflict in Kosovo would be identified. "The greatest attention was focused on Serb requests for preventing the legalization of ethnic cleansing, and enabling the Serb community to join economic processes in Kosovo," emphasized Trajkovic. "The third request was our desire for the assistance of the Council of Europe and other institutions to ensure that decentralization will bring government closer to the average man in Kosovo and Metohija, to make it possible to exist and to survive through self-government in areas where we remain, and to identify and isolate those who committed crimes such as murder and kidnapping against Serbs, something we continue to ask for because so far no one has been held accountable for these crimes," said Trajkovic
.


November 05, 2002

Explosion in Vitina - Serb boy wounded in Mitrovica
House burned in Orahovac

UN official emphasizes poor return of Serbs and endangerment of their rights

Christopher Deliso: Greater Albania, a Place or just a state of mind

KOSOVO AND METOHIJA MUST BE INCLUDED IN CONSTITUTIONAL CHARTER
Representatives of both Serb National Councils in Kosovo and Metohija appeal the unacceptable adoption of a Constitutional Charter not affirming Kosovo and Metohija as an integral part of the future union
and the Serbian state



from a joint meeting of SNC of Kosovo and Metohija and the SNC North Kosovo
(from left: Marko Jaksic, Dr. Radat Trajkovic, Bishop Artemije, Dr. Milan Ivanovic)

ZVECAN: November 3, 2002

At today's meeting in Zvecan, representatives of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija and the Serb National Council of Northern Kosovo came to the joint conclusion that it is impossible to adopt a Constitutional Charter for the future joint state of Serbia and Montenegro (Yugoslavia) without mentioning Kosovo and Metohija as an integral part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia. By clearly defining the position of Kosovo and Metohija within the framework of the future joint state, UN Security Council Resolution 1244 will be affirmed without any prejudicing of the future status of the Province. That status can only be changed through mutual negotiations within the framework of public institutions and under no circumstances through imposition by any power center or force. Recently there have been increasing indications that some power centers are putting pressure on state officials in Belgrade to omit Kosovo and Metohija from the Constitutional Charter and thus finally open the process of definitive secession of our southern Province from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia. The omission of Kosovo and Metohija from the Constitutional Charter would have very serious and far reaching consequences:

- It would prejudice the future status of Kosovo and Metohija, defined by Resolution 1244 as essentially autonomous with the framework of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

- It would open the door to the creation of an ethnically cleansed, second Albanian state in the Balkans, which would have serious consequences for the security and stability of the entire region.

- It would openly trample the Constitutions of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia according to which no one has the right to surrender state territorial integrity and sovereignty, especially when they are affirmed by UN Security Council Resolution at the highest international level.

- This would be an act of public national treason, which would have unfathomable consequences for the future of the Serb people and state.

- Signatories of this incomplete Constitutional Charter would bear enormous moral and historical responsibility for such an act against the people and the state. In this manner, they would directly enable the completion of the expulsion of the remaining Serbs from the Province and the destruction of their cultural, spiritual and national identity in it, which would inevitably follow after the formal secession of Kosovo and Metohija from the future joint state of Serbia and Montenegro.

Kosovo and Metohija therefore must at any price be included in the text of the Constitutional Charter as an integral part of the joint state and the Republic of Serbia, with precise explanation of the special status of the Province which has since 1999 been under the provisional jurisdiction of the UN mission. In this way the future status of the Province will not be prejudiced; instead, Resolution 1244 and the territorial integrity of the state which this resolution clearly and concretely affirms and recognizes will be publicly affirmed.
The Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohij and the Serb National Council of Northern Kosovo will be addressing correspondence to the members of the Constitutional Charter task group as well as to the head of the Joint Coordinating Center of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia for Kosovo and Metohija in regard to this issue in the immediate future.

President of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija
Bishop Artemije (Radosavljevic) of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija

President of the Serb National Council of Northern Kosovo
Dr. Milan Ivanovic


NEW COMKFOR - LT Gen. Fabio MINI, IT Army
visited VISOKI DECANI Monastery, November 1, 2002


click to see a larger photo

KFOR WILL PROVIDE PROTECTION FOR DECANI MONASTERY

Decani, November 1, 2002

The new Commander of Kosovo NATO-led forces (KFOR) Italian Lt. General Fabio MINI visited today Visoki Decani Monastery and was briefed by Fr. Sava Janjic (deputy abbot) about the situation in which monks live in this part of the Province.

For three years the monastery has been completely isolated and surrounded by hostility and intolerance of the local Albanians, said Fr. Sava. It is only thanks to Italian KFOR that monks still live and pray in this monastery. That is why it is of essential importance to preserve a strong KFOR presence in the area as long as the security situation is so unfavorable, concluded Fr. Sava.

General Mini said that KFOR will continue providing protection to the Monastery which he called an important historical and cultural monument.


To be or not to be.......
Nebojsa Covic and Michael Steiner after today's meeting
on decentralization and other burning Kosovo issues, Belgrade Nov 1, 2002


November 1, 2002

Student bus escorts discontinued - KPS police abuses medical workers
Serb National Council requests escort for Serb pupils in central Kosovo - Kosovo should be decentralised with respect to Resolution 1244

MORE NEWS