SERBS BEATEN UP - HOUSE SET ON FIRE
Novosti daily, Belgrade
June 23, 2003
LIPLJAN - Two attacks on Serbs in as many days have resulted
in more fear being sown among their remaining compatriots in
the municipality of Lipljan and confirmed suspicions that the
terror of Albanian separatists in the Province is far from waning.
Jeftic was on his way to Kosovo Polje to inspect his house in
the village of Magura, which was being watched for him by his
adopted brother, (Albanian) Nezir Larli. En route they were
met by a group of Albanians, who used their cars to block their
vehicle and pulled Jeftic out of the car. After punching him
repeatedly, the Albanians forced Jeftic to walk back to Kosovo
Polje. Jeftic recognized the brother of his own adopted brother
among his attackers and understood that this was his "final
warning" not to return to the home of his forefathers.
afternoon a group of Albanians beat up Zivka Matic of Rabovce
near Lipljan. She was admitted to the hospital in Gracanica
while UNMIK police failed to arrest her attackers because, according
to them, they were minors. At almost the same time Mirko Janackovic
was beaten up while on his way to Kosovska Vitina. We were unable
to find out more about what happened to him.
ago in Obilic the home of the refugee family of Pecelj was set
on fire. Thanks to the rapid intervention of UNMIK firefighters
one part of the house was saved while the rest was reduced to
of northern Kosovo and Metohija were also disturbed by an incident
in the train going from Kosovo Polje to Kosovska Mitrovica.
Policemen from the train took a married couple, Sinisa and Stanka
Jeremic, to the nearby Zvecan police station because they were
convinced that they knew a Serb man who stoned an Albanian at
the Vucitrn train station.
the train and road toward Raska for half an hour in protest,
stating that this was clearly a provocation since there has
not been a resident of Vucitrn of Serb or Montenegrin nationality
for more than four years. An official statement from the appropriate
UN institutions regarding these incidents is expected.
OF THE ERP KIM AND SNC KIM
UNPRECEDENTED AND IMMORAL
POLICE USE TEAR GAS TO ATTACK HOSPITAL, THREATEN MEDICAL STAFF
UNMIK AND KOSOVO POLICE ATTEMPT
TO EVICT PATIENTS AND SERB PHYSICIANS FROM KOSOVO POLJE HEALTH
CENTER - DIOCESE OF RASKA AND PRIZREN AND SERB NATIONAL COUNCIL
OF KOSOVO AND METOHIJA MOST STRONGLY CONDEMN POLICE ACTIONS
AS UNPRECEDENTED ACT OF VIOLENCE
KIM Info Service
Gracanica, 20 June 2003
an injured Serb doctor after the police attack on the hospital)
Diocese of Raska and Prizren and the Serb National Council most
strongly condemn yesterday's brutal attack by UNMIK and Kosovo
(Albanian) police in the building of the Kosovo Polje Health
Center. During the attack police used tear gas resulting in
injury to approximately 20 patients and Serb physicians. Serb
medical staff and gathered citizens quite reasonably could not
allow UNMIK and Albanian policemen to take over the hospital
because the Health center was legally handed over by the Russians
to the Serb medical peronnel which have been working in the
institute for years. The
building used until recently by Russian troops is owned by the
Serbian Institute for Blood Transfusion, formerly located in
Pristina. In addition to the team of Russian physicians and
technologists, the dispensary and specialist section of the
Russian military hospital employed a Serb team of physicians
from the Kosovo Polje Health Center.
unprecedented and immoral act represents one of the most shameful
stains on the four year work of the UN Mission in Kosovo. Instead
of working on the implementation of Resolution 1244, UNMIK is
increasingly being transformed into a public service for the establishment
of an ethnically pure Albanian society in Kosovo and Metohija
under the guise of building supposed multiethnic institutions
and establishing democracy. While Albanian extremists wreak
havoc throughout the Province, brutally and freely murdering
entire Serb families, peaceful peasants, teachers and elderly
people, destroying churches and digging up graves without punishment,
UNMIK police and the former members of the Kosovo Liberation
Army now wearing the uniforms of the Kosovo Albanian police
are applying force against Serb physicians whose crime lies
in wanting to continue to perform their humanitarian work and
to help their people, who for the past four years have been
living under ethnic repression and the terror of ekstremists.
Polje Health Center is one of few medical institutions in Kosovo
and Metohija where Serb physicians were able to continue working
after the war and where Serbs from the Kosovo Polje region are
able to receive medical treatment. The Serb physicians were
assisted for four years by their colleagues from the Russian
KFOR contingent, which contributed to this medical institute
becoming known as one of the most professional of its kind in
the Province. Kosovo Polje Health Center is also an institute
where, in addition to Serbs, ethnic Albanians and members of
other ethnic communities receive medical care without any form
of discrimination. Several of the Serb physicians who were collectively
evicted from the Clinical Medical Center in Pristina before
UNMIK and KFOR forces four years ago continued, thanks to Russian
KFOR, to offer medical services in this hospital to the remaining
Serb population of Kosovo Polje and Pristina municipality, which
today can only receive medical treatment in this institute.
As a result, UNMIK's intention to place this institute under
the control of the provisional Albanian-run Kosovo health ministry
and to prevent the normal work of Serb physicians represents
a serious threat that has caused great fear among the Serb population.
state of health care in Kosovo and Metohija, like all other
public services, is disastrous. There have been no Serb
patients or Serb physicians in any of the regional medical centers
for the last four years because Kosovo Albanians with the silent
acquiescence of UNMIK have ejected all the Serb physicians with
the intention of building an ethnically pure Albanian society.
Serb patients cannot seek medical assistance in these insitutions
because no one can guarantee either their right to appropriate treatment
nor for that matter their right to life. Those who do not have
the funds to seek treatment in central Serbia can only receive
primary medical care in existing but poorly equipped Serb village
dispensaries. As a result of this inhuman approach by Albanian
institutions and UNMIK, many elderly people and chronic
patients are condemned to silent death in poverty and absence
of appropriate medical and social care.
Diocese of Raska and Prizren and the Serb National Council appeal
to the international community to prevent the usurpation of
the Kosovo Polje Health Center, and to enable the normal work
of Serb medical staff. UNMIK's attempts to use force to evict
patients and Serb physicians from these institutions in order
to place them under Albanian control must be prevented by the
Serb community using all legitimate means, in unison and decisively.
Therefore, the Diocese of Raska and Prizren and the Serb National
Council of Kosovo publicly express their solidarity with the
physicians and people of Kosovo Polje and most sharply condemn
the repressive policies of Michael Steiner and the provisional
Kosovo health ministry. At the same time, the Diocese and the
SNC call on the Serbian Government and the Coordinating Center
to provide material and professionally support the work of Serb
medical institutions in Kosovo and Metohija.
The Information Service
Serbian Orthodox Church
June 13, 2003
OF PATRIARCH PAVLE
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AND THE EUROPEAN UNION:
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EXISTING OPPORTUNITIES AND REALISTICALLY
SUPPORT THE SURVIVAL OF SERBS IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
Patriarch of the Serbian
Orthodox Church Kyr Pavle - Biography)
Beatitude the Serbian Patriarch Kyr Pavle sent an appeal today
to the United Nations Security Council and Mr. Javier Solana,
the European Union's high representative for common foreign
and security policy, to protect and ensure basic human rights
for Serbs and other non-Albanians still remaining in Kosovo
and Metohija, as well as to continue providing humanitarian
assistance to those expelled from the southern Serbian province.
The letter states, among other things, the following:
"The suffering of hundreds of thousands of Serbs and other
non-Albanians, expelled four years ago from Kosovo and Metohija,
an autonomous province of the Republic of Serbia under the administration
of United Nations during this entire time, continue undiminished.
Their houses and property in Kosovo and Metohija have been destroyed
or illegally appropriated by the Albanians (30,000 houses and
apartments looted, 77,000 usurped). International organizations
are no longer giving them even minimal assistance to cover their
most basic life needs. Prospects for their return to their ancestral
homes grow smaller each day, taking into account that KFOR and
UNMIK officials are doing very little or nothing to ensure basic
rights for the few Serbs remaining in Kosovo and Metohija. What
is more, after the bestial murder of the three members of the
Stolic family in Obilic, they are preparing to flee from the
knives of Albanian terrorists. Unfortunately, the Republic of
Serbia has no opportunity to control this part of its own territory
because those provisions of Security Council Resolution 1244
giving it this right remain a dead letter.
"We are aware that much of this is already known to you
and we have written regarding these matters to many influential
international factors repeatedly in the past. However, we are
appealing to you once again because we simply cannot accept
that the Serbs of Kosovo and Metohija have outlawed before the
eyes of the entire planet: those who fled have been left without
minimal living conditions; those who remain in Kosovo and Metohija
live in daily fear for their lives.
"Therefore we once again appeal to you to influence KFOR
and UNMIK organs so that they actually begin to work on achieving
their proclaimed goal: a multiethnic Kosovo and Metohija. Only
one thing is necessary to achieve this goal: to put an end to
crime and terror. For we are convinced that the Albanian population
must know that it cannot build the happiness of its own children
on the misfortune of Serb ones.
"Similarly, we call on you to work with humanitarian organizations
to ensure that refugees from Kosovo and Metohija continue to
receive the humanitarian assistance so necessary for their essential
survival. We therefore express our full support for the petition
sent to you in April 2003 by the Patria Association of Expelled
and Displaced Persons from Berane, and the Kosmet Association
of Displaced Persons from Sutomore.
"We hope that you will take advantage of existing opportunities
and realistically support the survival of the Serbs and other
non-Albanian peoples in Kosovo and Metohija."
the Serb Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral in Djakovica blown
up by Kosovo Albanian extremists
symbolize disorderly situation in the UN administered Serbian
Province four years after the conflict
METOHIJA FOUR YEARS LATER
four years "results" of the peace mission in Kosovo
by Fr. Sava Janjic
years after the deployment of the UN Mission and KFOR troops
in Kosovo and Metohija one can hardly claim that the war torn
southern Province of Serbia is on the right track to become
a democratic and multiethnic society. Quite on the contrary,
UNMIK’s policy of constant compromises towards ethnic Albanians
and their political goals has made life for Serbs and non-Albanian
communities extremely difficult and without true perspectives
for the future. UNMIK’s constant ignoring of the UN SC Resolution
1244 and legitimate claims of the Serbian people on one hand
and creating temporary “multiethnic” institutions without any
link to Serbia-Montenegro on the other, have turned Kosovo and
Metohija into a virtually independent ethnic Albanian state
prior to any negotiations at all. In fact, it appears that the
goal of some international circles and Kosovo Albanian leaders
is to pursue a policy of fait accomplish and practically leave
independence as the only remaining option to which
is expected to agree under certain concessions on the other
The willingness of Kosovo Serbs to participate in building of
multiethnic institutions within the lines stipulated by the
UNSCR 1244 has only been exploited in order to give false legitimacy
to the institutions which in reality remain under complete control
of Kosovo Albanians and have become tools of institutional repression.
If such policy of UNMIK is continued in future and if there
is no constructive revision of the Constitutional framework,
which would return the process of institutionalization within
the limits of the UNSCR 1244, Kosovo may not only become an
independent state but also a state in which all traces of the
Serbian people and its culture will be completely eradicated.
Four years of the internationally granted peace with a terrifying
record of crimes and destruction of cultural heritage present
only a shadow of what the Province might look once Kosovo Albanians
are given full and unrestrained power. The last but not least,
this "state" may become a main destabilizing factor
for the entire SE Europe, which will seriously obstruct the
process of European integration and democratization of the Balkans.
As a focal point for future ethnic Albanian integrations independent
Kosovo may act as a dangerous precedent for redrawing political
maps of Europe according to the ethnic lines. MORE-FULL
Burrial of the massacred Serb family in Obilic, June 6, 2003
ARTEMIJE: FUTURE OF KOSOVO CANNOT BE BUILT ON BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT
Artemije and his priests officieated a burrial service for the
massacred Serb family in Obilic - During the burrial ceremony
many Albanians hoisted flags, called out insults and swore at
the funeral procession
BK TV, ERP KIM Info-Service
June 6, 2003
Stolic family members, Slobodan, Radmila and Ljubinko, killed
by Albanian terrorists three days ago in Obilic, were buried
today around 1400hrs in near village of Crkvena vodica (Church
water). This crime happened on the 4th annual of signing the
Kumanovo agreement which marked the end of almost three months
of NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.
thousand Serbs from all the enclaves of Central Kosmet attended
the funeral, and Bishop Artemije and the priests from Raska
– Prizren Diocese held the funeral service. He strongly
accused Kosovo's international administration of hypocricy over
the murder. "The crimes committed against the Serbs are
still happening after 4 years, beside the presence of the International
Community, and it’s a high time to do something to prevent
the further Serb exodus," said Bishop Artemije adding that
"future of Kosovo and Metohija cannot be built on blood
of the innocent". The Bishiop also called on Kosovo Serbs
to keep their faith and stay in their homes and not allow Albanian
extremists to accomplish their goal - ethnically clean Kosovo
Trajkovic, the President of the Serb "Resistance"
movement from Kosovo, Coordination Center officials from Belgrade,
and "Povratak" Coalition representatives attended
the funeral. Oliver Ivanovic, the Kosovo Parliament Presidency
member strongly condemned the Stolic’s murder, and added
that Serbs have a right to complain regarding the unsatisfactory
International Community results.
are preparing a letter which will be sent to many officials,
at first to Kofi Annan, Lord Robertson (which means NATO), and
Javier Solana, to the 5 countries ambassadors in Belgrade (the
Contact Group and Russia), and to the 6 countries ambassadors
and offices in Pristina. There is a need to do something, this
cannot to continue anymore," said Oliver Ivanovic.
Beside the Kosovo President and Prime Minister's appeals, before
and at the time of the funeral, the most extreme of Albanians
have hoisted Albanian flags, called out insults and swore at
the funeral procession, but there were no incidents only thanks
to the Norwegian KFOR members.
house in which three elderly Serbs were murdered and burnt
BISHOP ARTEMIJE VISITS
VITINA AND VRBOVAC AFTER THE LATEST SERIES OF CRIMES AND ATTACKS
Church has been, is now and will remain with its faithful believers,
sharing their fate. Crimes, such as the one that occurred yesterday
in Obilic and such as the murder of Zoran Mirkovic here in Vrbovac,
must not go unpunished. The international community must finally
put an end to the systemic violence being carried out under
its auspices against the defenseless Serb people of Kosovo and
Metohija," Bishop Artemije told Kosovsko Pomoravlje Serbs
ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, 05 June 2003
June 5, Bishop Artemije and representatives of the Serb National
Council of Kosovo and Metohija visited Kosovska Vitina and Vrbovac
to celebrate the religious holiday of the Ascension of Our Lord
Jesus Christ with the people and distribute humanitarian aid
collected by the Diocese. After Holy Liturgy in the Orthodox
cathedral in Vitina, Bishop Artemije and Dr. Rada Trajkovic
spoke with Serb representatives of the Vitina region who informed
them of the exceptionally difficult situation of Serbs living
in Kosovsko Pomoravlje.
Serbs from Vitina told the Bishop that security and living conditions
in the region are very unfavorable, especially since the most
recent crimes and attacks against Serbs in Vrbovac and Vitina.
People also complained that they are not getting almost any
assistance from the Serbian state and they feel completely abandoned.
There is great hypocrisy and intolerance on the Albanian side,
claimed the Serb representatives. According to their testimony,
publicly the Albanians express their willingness for the development
of normal interethnic relations while in reality the Serbs remain
exposed to daily repression and discrimination. They are exposed
to continuous pressure to sell their homes and leave their centuries-old
An especially sore point with the Serbs of this region is the
fact that international representatives of UNMIK and U.S. KFOR
have not demonstrated a sincere willingness to end Albanian
violence and, not infrequently, openly tolerate the reinforcement
of the terrorist self-proclaimed Albanian National Army. Whenever
an attack against Serbs occurs, the typical response is that
KFOR forces swoop down on a Serb settlement and carry out house
to house searches while the Albanian attackers flee from the
The hypocritical attitude of international institutions and
local Albanian authorities toward the Serbs was more than apparent
following the murder of Zoran Mirkovic on May 17 in Vrbovac.
Despite the fact that Serbs had ample evidence of the involvement
of ANA terrorists, international representatives covered
the whole incident up over night and even said that it probably
was not an ethnically motivated crime, thus de facto suggesting
that Mirkovic was killed by Serbs, which represents the ultimate
level of hypocrisy. The perpetrators of this loathsome crime,
as usual, were not found.
Despite persistent attempts to present a false picture of idyllic
interethnic relations to the general public, the reality of
daily life is completely different and it is misleading to speak
about any kind of substantial improvement in the lives of local
Serbs, concluded the Serb representatives who spoke with Bishop
After Kosovska Vitina, Bishop Artemije was escorted by UNMIK
police to the village of Vrbovac where a requiem service (parastos)
was served for all Serbs murdered in Kosovo and Metohija. In
his homily Bishop Artemije wished local Serbs a happy holiday
of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ and encouraged them
to be resolute and determined and remain in their centuries-old
homes without losing hope in a better future. "The Church
has been, is now and will remain with its faithful believers,
sharing their fate. Crimes, such as the one that occurred yesterday
in Obilic and such as the murder of Zoran Mirkovic here in Vrbovac,
must not go unpunished. The international community must finally
put an end to the systemic violence being carried out under
its auspices against the defenseless Serb people of Kosovo and
Metohija," Bishop Artemije told the gathered Serbs.
Police and family members take the bodies of the
massacred Serbs from their home in Obilic
FAMILY MASSACRED IN OBILIC
An 80 year-old man with a bullet wound to his temple,
his wife and son stabbed with a knife in the area of the heart
found in house - Attackers tried to cover up the crime by setting
fire to the house
KIM Info Service
Obilic, 04 June 2003
Orthodox Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija and the
Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija most strongly condemn
today's massacre of the Serb family Stolic in Obilic.
of three members of the Stolic family were discovered early
this morning in their house in Obilic, where the crime occurred.
The deceased include an elderly married couple, Slobodan and
Radmila Stolic, both about 80 years old, and their son Ljubinko,
who was 50. According to eyewitness testimony Slobodan Stolic
has a bullet wound 6 cm. long on his temple and his son Ljubinko
has stab wounds from a knife in the area of the heart. The attackers
who treacherously murdered the Stolices started a fire in the
room where the murder occurred in order to cover up traces of
the crime. The Stolic family car was also stolen from the yard.
Serbs in Obilic who live in Cerska Street were awoken during
the night by flames from the Stolic house. The fire was quickly
localized and the police called, who immediately blocked off
the scene of the crime. When members of the Kosovo police, who
arrived in the meanwhile in considerable number, attempted to
remove the bodies, a minor scuffle occurred between the police
and the gathered Serbs, who refused to allow the bodies to be
removed without the presence of Serb forensic experts.
murder of innocent civilians is yet another in a series of crimes
by which Albanian extremists and terrorists are attempting to
expel the remaining Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija. There only
some twenty Serb families left in the town of Obilic who for
months have been exposed to systematic terror, bomb attacks
and arson. The murder of the Stolic family confirms the bitter
truth that the position of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija has
remained unchanged for the past four years and that the reduced
crime rate is exclusively the result of the isolation of the
Serbs, who remain exclusively in their enclaves and protected
Michael Steiner arrived in Obilic at approximately 10:00 hours.
Currently there is large police and KFOR presence in the town.
An SNC KIM delegation headed by Randjel Nojkic visited Obilic
and learned the details of the crime. There is great unrest
and worry among the local Serb population.
to information received by the ERP KIM Info Service a large
popular protest meeting has been called in Gracanica at noon.
Participants are protesting against the crime in Obilic and
the systemic violation of the human rights of the Serbs in the
Province. Representatives of the SNC KIM are expected to speak
at the demonstrations.
KIM AND SNC KIM CONDEMN TERRORIST ATTACK IN UROSEVAC
Five people, including member of Greek KFOR, injured
in attack in front of Orthodox church
KIM Info Service
Obilic, 04 June 2003
of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija and the Serb National Council
of Kosovo and Metohija also condemn the recent terrorist attack
in Urosevac. On May 31 at approximately 21:45 hours unknown
persons threw a hand grenade at members of Greek KFOR guarding
the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Holy Emperor Uros (built
in 1933) in Urosevac. Five people were injured in the attack,
including a member of KFOR. The KFOR checkpoint is located right
next to the church in the center of town. The attackers managed
to flee from the scene and are still being sought.
was also confirmed by UNMIK police in their official report
of 02 June, as well as by Albanian language media. Urosevac
mayor Adem Salihaj expressed his concern as a result of the
attack in a statement for Radio Kosovo on 03 June.
this terrorist attack on KFOR members guarding the only remaining
Orthodox church in this town no longer inhabited by Serbs is
another indicator of the deterioration of security conditions
in Kosovo and Metohija where, despite all efforts by UNMIK
and some international circles to hide reality, anarchy and
attack on Greek KFOR in front on the Orthodox church in Urosevac
comes only days after an attack by Albanian extremists on members
of Spanish KFOR guarding Gorioc Monastery near Istok. These
extremist attacks are clearly meant to show that those
who protect Orthodox shrines are hardly safe themselves.
Leadership of the Serb
National Council at press conference in Belgrade Media Center,
May 30, 2003 (from left to right: Dr. Marko Jaksic, Dr.
Rada Trajkovic, Bishop Artemije, Dr. Milan Ivanovic)
DIRECTIVES REGARDING THE FINAL STATUS OF KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
May 30, 2003
BASIC DIRECTIVES OF THE SERB NATIONAL COUNCIL OF KOSOVO AND
METOHIJA REGARDING THE FINAL STATUS OF KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
1. We support the multiethnic and democratic solution opposing
the formation of an ethnically pure Albanian state of Kosovo
and Metohija. In the event that the formation of such an
ethnically based state is permitted, we demand the recognition
of the right of all Serbs everywhere to alter borders according
to ethnic principles.
2. The Albanians are seeking an ethnic and undemocratic solution
based on the concept of ethnic cleansing and domination. This
concept is inconsistent with the idea of European integration
and the transcendence of ethnic problems within the framework
of existing borders. Therefore, we suggest A CHANGE IN THE
WAY OF THINKING, NOT A CHANGE OF BORDERS. This is the philosophy
of the 21st century, whereas the prevalent Albanian philosophy
belongs to the 19th century.
3. Serbia is the most multiethnic state in the Balkans, and
the Serbian people removed Milosevic and his associates from
power by their own will. The fact that Serbia preserved its
multiethnicity even during the time of Milosevic suggests that
today it has even greater credibility in ensuring that various
ethnic communities can find a secure future within her borders.
4. If the Albanians demand a referendum on independence,
we will demand a REFERENDUM to keep Kosovo and Metohija in Serbia-Montenegro,
to be held throughout the territory of the state. This is
our democratic right because Serbia and the Serbian people have
legitimate interests here, and Kosovo and Metohija has never
been an independent state.
5. A referendum where Kosovo Albanians would vote in favor of
independence through sheer force of numbers is not and cannot
be a just solution. Although modern European legislation
recognizes the right to self-determination, it also recognizes
the right to the territorial integrity of sovereign states.
In the twentieth century there have been numerous examples of
clashes between these two principles, although they are not
necessarily contradictory nor mutually exclusive.
6. The right to self-determination does not necessarily mean
secession. A national group does not have to be independent
and in its own nation-state to control its own fate. If this
was the case, Europe would look very different than it does
today and there would be constant armed conflicts in one senseless
and misguided attempt after another to create ethnically pure
7. A country which readily and cheaply renounce a part of their
territory to achieve short-term political and economic goals
loses its credibility as a state and is automatically reduced
to the level of a semi-colonial territory, which as such will
never become a full-fledged member of the European Union. This
concept can be likened to the logic according to which a passenger
ship will reach its destination more quickly if the passengers
and their baggage are promptly tossed into the ocean. Once the
selling of land where Serbs have centuries-old historical rights
and their most important cultural monuments begins, the disintegration
process will gain momentum in other parts of the country, too,
as everyone begins to grab as much as they can take or pay for.
There is no need to mention that such a Serbia will disappear
more easily into the proverbial melting pot and be marginalized,
finally, as a political power in the Balkans. It would be inaccurate
to say that such a Serbia and Montenegro could not join Europe
but it would be more in the capacity of a semi-dependent region
than of a real, independent state.
8. The position of Serbia should be KOSOVO CAN ONLY BE FORCEFULLY
TAKEN FROM US BUT WE WILL NEVER GIVE IT UP. As long as Serbia
has not officially renounced Kosovo and Metohija, there is always
the hope that it will be restored to its formal constitutional
and legal position. If it should be surrendered, God forbid,
and renounced in writing, Serbia and the Serbian people will
lose their moral and historical rights to this land for all
time. PROPERTY DEEDS SHOULD BE KEPT BECAUSE HISTORY CHANGES.
9. We should not naively accept stories that anyone will guarantee
the rights of Serbs if there are no Serb authorities here. Is
the considerable presence of KFOR and UNMIK police not the best
indicator of this? Every guarantee for Serbs in any agreement
transferring Kosovo to the Albanians is not worth the paper
on which it is printed.
AN INDEPENDENT KOSOVO MEANS AN ETHNICALLY PURE KOSOVO
10.The goal of the Albanians is not only the independence of
Kosovo and Metohija and the creation of a little banana-republic
but the affirmation of an independent Kosovo as the bastion
of pan-Albanian national interests. IT IS NOT A GREATER ALBANIA
THEY WANT TO CREATE BUT A GREATER KOSOVO WITH CAPITALS IN PRISTINA
11. An independent Kosovo means THE END OF MACEDONIA.
If the Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija are granted the right
to the ethnic definition of borders, sooner or later the same
model will be applied in other so-called Albanian territories,
in Macedonia and Montenegro, and perhaps even in Greece.
THE INDEPENDENCE OF KOSOVO IS THE ETHNIC SOLUTION OF THE
PROBLEM AND COMPLETELY INCONSISTENT WITH CONCEPTS OF EUROPEAN
INTEGRATION AND DEMOCRACY.
OUR GOAL IS PEACE AND THEREFORE WE EMPHASIZE: AN UNJUST SOLUTION
IS CAUSE FOR FUTURE WARS.
Serb National Council of Kosovo and
May 30, 2003
views of the Kosovo Future Starus
NO PROTECTION IN CAPITAL FOR ATTACKED ORTHODOX CHURCH AND PRIEST
a prisoner with his 200 parishioners withstands terror of Kosovo
Albanians for 4 years in hope of better days
repeated requests for protection, including requests made personally
two weeks ago to the KFOR commander, adaquate protection for a
Serbian Orthodox Church and its priest in Kosovo's capital Pristina
has not been provided since the removal of KFOR guards at the
end of 2002. Attacks have become frequent and on 10 May many church
windows were broken. Parish priest Fr Miroslav Popadic told Forum
18 News Service that "I open the church gates only on Sunday
mornings and on major holidays for the faithful to come to liturgy,
otherwise, if someone comes to church without a call in advance
I do not open the gates. When I visit local villages, I make the
sign of the cross, sit in my car and drive fast at my own risk".
KFOR's commander told Fr Popadic he "cannot give any more
troops for the protection of churches". No arrests have been
made since for the attacks on Orthodox churches since 1999 and
KFOR has not replied to Forum 18 News Service's questions on this
latest attack, or to questions about the security of Orthodox
churches and monasteries. FULL
PARISH HALL NEAR ORAHOVAC BULGLARIZED
Representatives of the Dioces of Raska and Prizren from Orahovac
confirmed that after the withdrawal of KFOR protection in November
of last year the parish hall in the village of Brnjaci (near
Bela Crkva) in Orahovac municipality was broken into and burglarized.
As well, after the most recent visit to the Orahovac Orthodox
Cemetery, priests saw that Albanians were driving their tractors
through the cemetery and using it is a village thoroughfare.
ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, May 14, 2003
Frs. Srdjan Milenkovic and Milenko Dragicevic, Serbian Orthodox
priests from the Orahovac and Velika Hoca parishes, informed
the Diocese of Raska and Prizren Info Service today that while
visiting St. Nedelja Church in the village of Brnjaci, near
Bela Crkva, Orahovac municipality, they noticed that unknown
perpetrators had broken into the parish hall and removed most
of the contents left there. St. Nedelja Church and the parish
hall, which are located in a region now inhabited exclusively
by Kosovo Albanians, was placed under the protection of KFOR
troops after June 1999 and remained so until November 2002.
Since then the church and the parish hall have been without
direct protection, although members of German KFOR promised
to protect the property of their church. However, their promise
was not kept.
While passing by the church with a KFOR escort, Fr. Milenkovico
observed at the end of April that some of the windows on the
church and the hall were broken. Representatives of the parish
were not able to visit the church an d parish hall before May
4 and at that time they noted signs of the break in and burglary.
Arsenije Grkovic, the president of the church council, and Dimitirije
Baljosevic prepared a detailed report on the condition they
found. In addition to the broken windows and torn out door,
three ceiling lamps with fans were also missing, as well as
three smaller ceiling lamps. Also missing were curtains and
other materials from the building. The fountain in the churchyard
was broken and the church fence broken, allowing livestock to
wanter into and dirty the churchyard. Fr. Srdjan had asked to
remove the entire inventory and sacred vessels during his most
recent to the church and parish hall in November 2002 but he
was assured by members of KFOR that everything was secure and
they did nto allow him to take anything with him except a pair
of wooden benches.
Fr. Milenkovic reported the bulgary to representatives of UNMIK
and KFOR and an investigation is in progress. St. Nedelja Church
is first mentioned in historical records in 1348. In the 16th
century the church was completely restored and afterwards it
was partially restored several times. The church contains valuable
stone reliefs dating back to the 16th century.
DRIVE TRACTORS THROUGH SERB CEMETERY IN ORAHOVAC
KIM Info Service
Gracanica, May 14, 2003
According to the Serbian church sources in Orahovac desecration
of the local Orthodox cemtetery is continuing.
On May 10 Fr. Milenko Dragicevic, a priest in Velika Hoca,
visited the Serbian Orthodox Cemetery, which is located in the
Albanian part of the town and where Serbs have not been able
to bury their deceased for four years, accompanied by representatives
of UNMIK and Orahovac municipality. The purpose of the visit
was to reexamine the possibility of activating the cemetery.
The remaining 400 Serbs in Orahovac have been burying their
deceased in the relatively small area surrounding the Church
of the Assumption of the Most Holy Theodokos in the Serb quarter
of Orahovac since June 1999. As early as summer 2002 Serbs visited
the cemetery for the first time and found damaged graves and
UCK graffiti written in red paint. This time Fr. Dragicevic
observed more graves had been damaged and confirmed that in
the visited section of the cemetery, almost 90 percent of the
tombstones were damaged or completely destroyed. Especially
worrisome is the fact that the cemetery fence has been torn
down and local Albanians are driving their tractors through
the Serb cemetery, using it as an improvised village thoroughfare.
Fr. Dragicevic asked UNMIK and KFOR to urgently fence in the
cemetery and prevent its further desecration.
The Diocese of Raska and Prizren once again appeals to representatives
of the international administration in Kosovo and Metohija and
officials of the Republic of Serbia to urgently undertake measures
to prevent the further destruction and looting of the property
of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
ETHNIC TERROR IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA CONTINUES
in the past three weeks, a series of new incidents demonstrated
that the situation in the southern Serbian province is not improving
but instead is becoming increasingly difficult and uncertain
KIM Info Service
Gracanica, May 10, 2003
Kosovo and Metohija there are still two realities, which have
little in common. On the one hand, there are official statements
by some international representatives and Kosovo Albanian leaders
describing the continuous improvement of the situation and the
need to transfer UNMIK competencies to the local population
as quickly as possible. On the other hand, for the Kosovo-Metohija
Serbs and largely for other at-risk minority communities continuing
to live under a state of siege, the situation is not improving
but life is actually becoming increasingly difficult and the
future more and more uncertain.
SERB WOMAN FOUND IN A POOL OF BLOOD
the eve of the Easter holidays, Orthodox Good Friday on April
25, Albanian hooligans brutally beat up a Serb woman, Smiljka
Andjelkovic (66), in her home in Lipljan. The attackers broke
into the Andjelkovic home at about 17,00 hours and inflicted
serious bodily harm upon Smiljka Andjelkovic, who was alone
at the time. When her husband, Ljubinko Andjelkovic, arrived
home he found his wife lying in a pool of blood in the kitchen.
There was also blood on a chair apparently used to repeatedly
strike the old woman in the head. Emergency medical care was
provided at the Simonida Medical Center in Gracanica, where
physicians diagnosed serious injuries to the skull. The Andjelkovic
family has long been the target of threats from local Albanian
extremists using all means to force then to sell their apartment
and move out of Lipljan. This attack has caused further unrest
in this central Kosovo municipality where the remaining couple
of thousand Serbs have lived under the constant ethnic terror
of the Albanian majority for the last four years.
On the same day Albanian police belonging to the Kosovo Police
(KPS) detained a convoy of Serb buses and vehicles at the administrative
border of Kosovo and Metohija near Podujevo without any concrete
reason. Even though the convoy had a regular KFOR escort responsible
for accompanying it to Brezovica to celebrate the oncoming holidays
with relatives, the Kosovo police refused to allow the vehicles
to pass. Only after the intervention of Mrs. Svetlana Stevic,
a reperesentative of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren, in UNMIK
headquarters in Pristina did the Albanian police allow the Serb
convoy to continue on its journey.
LITERARY CLASSICS IN GARBAGE DUMPSTERS
the salme day, as Orthodox Christians marked the day of Christ's
crucifixion and suffering on Golgotha through prayer, disturbing
news arrived from Gnjilane that the Albanians had thrown about
1,000 Serbian language books from the city library into the
garbage. Among the books ending up in garbage dumpsters were
works by Serbian Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andric, Njegos and poetess
Desanka Maksinovic. Unfortunately this barbaric act reminiscent
of the burning of the books during the time of Nazism is not
the only incident of this time. Immediately after the end of
the war in 1999 and the arrival of the international UN mission
and KFOR in Kosovo and Metohija, thousands of Serbian language
books were ejected from the libraries of Kosovo-Metohija towns
inhabited by an Albanian majority population and burned. The
same occurred with books from private collections which their
Serb owners were unable to evacuate in time. This latest anti-cultural
act best illustrates the horrific contours of the new state
being established in this region, sadly, under the administration
and auspices of the UN. Kosovo Ombudsman Marek Nowicky, a Pole,
has orded an urgent investigation and sought to preserve the
remaining Serbian language books from destruction. As in similar
instances in the past, not one representative of the Kosovo
Albanians has condemned this act nor has the so-called Albanian
intellectual community expressed any interest in the destruction
of Serbian language books.
ALBANIAN ATTACKS AGAINST SERBS IN SUVI DO
May 3, just days after the Orthodox celebration of the Resurrection
of Christ, Milan and Milorad Jeftic, local residents of Suvi
Do, a village not far from Kosovska Mitrovica, were injured
when they were intentionally hit by a bus driven by a Kosovo
Albanian. The international police immediately arrested the
driver who is to be indicted by the court within days. Only
three days later, on May 6, a Kosmetprevoz Bus Lines bus transporting
Serb students between Kosovska Mitrovica and Suvi Do was stoned
by Albanians. No one was injured but the bus was demolished.
from Suvi Do, embittered by the frequent attacks by Albanians,
organized a protest meeting on May 7 to demand more effective
protection from Albanian extremists. In order to disperse the
250 Serbs who gathered for the protest, members of the Danish
KFOR battalion fired tear gas at the local residents, including
women and children. This resulted in the injury of Gordana Jeftic,
who was transported to the medical center in Kosovska Mitrovica
in serious medical condition. What is more, according to local
Serbs, members of KFOR confiscated their bus (which had been
stoned the previous day) thus removing their only means of transportation
to Kosovska Mitrovica.
the same day, Albanian extremists inflicted serious injuries
upon Dejan Jeftic, a taxi driver from Suvi Do, who is still
undergoing treatment in the medical center in Kosovska Mitrovica.
PROTECTION CORPS RESPONSIBLE FOR TERRORIST ATTACK
the meanwhile, UNMIK representatives finally officially confirmed
that two members of the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) were responsible
for planting explosives under a bridge in the village of Loziste
near Zvecan. This news appeared in the wake of increasing attempts
by KPC representatives to create an impression in public that
this organization should be transformed into the future Kosovo
army. The Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija immediately
called on Kosovo Serbs not to join the Kosovo Protection Corps
because "it is the direct heir of the Kosovo Liberation
Army and an organization responsible for numerous terrorist
attacks on members of the Serb and other non-Albanian communities".
"All Serbs need to be cognizant of the fact," cites
the Coordinating Center in its statement, that the KPC is providing
"logistical support to the ANA, a terrorist organization
responsible for recent terrorist attacks in northern Kosovo".
confirmation that the KPC really has strong ties to the so-called
Albanian National Army, placed on the list of terrorist organizations
last month by the chief of UNMIK, was also given by international
represenatives of the UN mission who informed the public that
due to the involvement of members of the KPC in the terrorist
attack in Loziste, they are cancelling the training program
abroad for members of the KPC. According to Kosovo Serb leaders,
the notorious ANA is in fact a phantom organization serving
as a front for the human resources and logistical support of
the Kosovo Protection Corps itself.
CEMETERY NEAR VITINA DESECRATED
this recap of tragic news concludes with the latest instances
of desecration of an Orthodox cemetery in the village of Zitinje
near Kosovska Vitina, where unknown persons have completely
destroyed eleven tombstones. According to Zoran Stankovic, a
displaced person housed not far from his village in neighboring
Klokot, the desecration of the tombstones most probably occurred
during the May Day holidays. Among the tombstones destroyed
was that of his son, who was killed four years ago on the threshold
of his home by Albanian extremists. The Serbs of Zitinje were
forced to leave their village in the summer of 1999 under pressure
from local Albanian extremists; since then, the village has
been inhabited solely by Albanians.
all these instances, as in the past, an appropriate response
by Kosovo institutions has been completely lacking; apparently,
they are more concerned with how the Province can become an
independent Albanian state as soon as possible than with the
living conditions of its population. Respect for the rights
of the non-majority population, law and order have long ago
been put on the back burner by leading Albanian politicians.
At the same time, they are seeking to project a completely different
image abroad not corresponding at all to the real situation
in the region and cover up the bitter truth that since 1999
a regime of terror and ethnic discrimination was established
in Kosovo and Metohija, which continues on to this day with
the silent acquiescence of international circles.
IN THEIR OWN HOMES
these most recent incidents are not isolated cases and the exception
in Kosovo reality is also confirmed by the latest report of
the U.S. human rights organization Amnesty International, published
in April of this year under the title "Prisoners in Their
Own Homes" providing detailed descriptions of the position
of the Serb people and minority communities in Kosovo and Metohija
in the last two years. The report, the most complete international
effort of its kind to date, discusses in detail attacks on the
non-majority population, destruction of churches and cemeteries,
ethnic discrimination and the most brutal trampling of basic
the conclusions of this report it is clearly emphasized that
UNMIK and KFOR "have failed in their task to ensure respect
for human rights by failing to undertake timely and appropriate
measures against their violation" and appeals to members
of international UN mission and KFOR "to bring those committing
crimes to justice and undertake more effective measures of protection
for the at-risk population".
last month's report by the UN Security Council, in which for
the first time a harsher tone is used to criticize the behavior
of the Kosovo Albanians, and indirectly the work of the UN mission
itself, which tolerates the excesses of the extremists, the
hope remains that the international community will not continue
to ignore the catastrophic situation existing for the past four
years under its protectorate.
what extent these words of criticism and warning by UN Secretary-General
Kofi Annan will influence representatives of the UN mission
and KFOR, as well as the local population, remains to be seen
in upcoming months which will be of key significance for the
fate of the one of the most burning crisis areas in the Balkans.
MINORITIES UNDER THREAT
Kastratovic, with four other elderly Serbwomen
lives in an old parish home in Djakovica under KFOR protection
Read their story: "For whom the bells toll in Djakovica"
28 April, 2003, 20:08 GMT 21:08 UK
Kosovo minorities 'under threat' - BBC
and other ethnic minorities in Kosovo remain at serious risk
of death or injury despite almost four years of peace and the
presence of UN and Nato peacekeepers, a new report by Amnesty
report, titled Prisoners in our own homes, says beatings, stabbings,
abductions, drive-by shootings and the use of hand grenades
to intimidate and kill members of these minorities are common
in the province.
the vast majority of these crimes remain unsolved, perpetrators
are free to commit further attacks contributing to a climate
of fear and the denial of basic human rights, it adds.
minorities in Kosovo, of which the largest are the Serbs and
Roma, make up about 8% of the predominantly Albanian population.
report describes the daily lives of children living in mono-ethnic
enclaves who are forced to have a K-for armed escort to school.
says that discrimination in healthcare has led to an increase
in mortality rates among minority communities, and up to 90%
unemployment among the Serb and Roma communities.
Albanians living in areas of Kosovo where they are in the minority
suffer the same security concerns and restrictions on their
freedom of movement.
Allen, the UK Director of Amnesty, said that failures by the
international community in Kosovo should serve as a lesson for
other post-conflict situations.
is clear that the international authorities in Kosovo were unprepared
for the massive abuses of human rights against minorities that
accompanied the rapid return of the Albanian community,"
the international community discusses the future of Iraq it
is essential that we learn the lessons of the past and ensure
that measures are put in place to protect the human rights of
vulnerable groups. It must be ensured from the outset that there
is no impunity for the perpetrators of human rights abuses."
is concerned that the ongoing persecution of ethnic minorities
makes it unsafe for minority refugees and internally displaced
people to return to their homes.
more than 230,000 Serbs, Roma and other minorities who fled
Kosovo in 1999, only 5,800 have returned.
the viability of return continues to depend on K-for's presence,
Amnesty International urges the international community to ensure
no- one from a minority community is forcibly returned to Kosovo,"
Ms Allen said.
is calling for proper resources for the UN civilian police force
(Unmik) and local authorities to ensure the thorough investigation
of ethnically motivated human rights abuses.
begin with, Unmik must extend witness protection to the witnesses
of such crimes.
the end of the conflict in July 1999 more than half the pre-war
minority population fled to Serbia or Montenegro or took refuge
in mono-ethnic enclaves in Kosovo guarded by K-for and Unmik.
a third of the 100,000 Serbs and Roma in Kosovo live in three
predominantly Serbian municipalities in the north of Kosovo.
live in mono-ethnic villages or under K-for protection in majority
Albanian urban areas.
than half the pre-war Slavic Muslim community of 67,000 fled
in 1999. Now about 3% of the population, they are mainly concentrated
in and around Prizren town.
ARTEMIJE MEETS WITH THE HEAD OF U.S. OFFICE IN PRISTINA
"If this is the situation under the administration and control
of UNMIK, Serbs are right to ask themselves what they can expect when
the Albanians running those institutions take over completely,"
said Bishop Artemije.regarding the issue of transfer of authorities
from UNMIK to local Kosovo institutions
Reno Harnish, head of the U.S.
Office in Pristina, and Bishop Artemije, April 23, 2003
here for the larger photo)
KIM Info Service
Gracanica Monastery, April 23, 2003
Today in the episcopal residence in Gracanica Monastery Bishop Artemije
of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija met with the head of the U.S.
Office in Pristina, Reno Harnish. The dominant themes of the discussion
were the return of displaced persons and the participation of Serbs
in the Council for Transfer of Competences.
Mr. Harish informed Bishop Artemije that the United States and other
Western countries are exerting great efforts toward the return of
displaced persons because, he stated, this is a key issue for the
multi-ethnicity of Kosovo. According to Mr. Harnish, it is thanks
to the efforts of the U.S. that about 500 persons returned to their
homes in Kosovo last year. He added that this year 10 million dollars
have been earmarked for assistance and encouragement of returns, 7.5
million of which will be spent to assist displaced persons in Serbia,
as well as those wishing to return to their homes in Kosovo. Mr. Harish
indicated that he personally spoke with 150 residents in Bujanovac
who had fled from the region of Vitina, and that they told him they
wished to return home. U.S. Office officials are in regular contact
with them. The head of the U.S. Office in Pristina also informed Bishop
Artemija that this year the attempt will be made to return displaced
persons to urban centers as well, instead of only to rural areas,
as has been the case so far. Gnjilane and Prizren are considered especially
suitable as international representatives believe that Albanians there
more readily accept Serbs than in other locations. Mr. Harnish also
said that he had personally visited the Serbs in the YU Program building
in Pristina and that he was personally working on making them less
Bishop Artemije thanked Mr. Harnish for this information and added
that it is very important for returns to also take place in the Vitina
region where many Serbs suffered great persecution after the war.
He expressed the sincere hope that this year words will finally be
transformed into deeds if multi-ethnicity in Kosovo and Metohija is
to be created.
With regard to the participation of Serb representatives in the Council
for Transfer of Competences, the head of the U.S. Office in Pristina
explained that the United States and other Western countries support
this process so that, at least with respect to economic issues, the
local population would assume responsibility. Mr. Harnish explained
that UNMIK firmly intends to retain the judicial system and security
under its own control. In his opinion, the transfer of competences
would contribute greatly to the five Serb municipalities.
Bishop Artemije expressed the opinion that he personally has not noticed
that the participation of the Return (Povratak) Coalition in the Kosovo
Parliament has contributed to an improvement of the situation on the
ground because not one proposal by the Serb caucus has been realized.
He cited several concrete examples demonstrating to Mr. Harnish that
institutions in Kosovo and Metohija are not multiethnic at all, and
that they do not serve the interests of all citizens, regardless of
The Bishop especially noted the situation in the Pristina Clinical
Center, where not one Serb physician is working, nor has any Serb
been able to request medical treatment in this institution in the
past year. The situation, explained the Bishop, is completely identical
at Pristina University, where there is not one Serb professor or student,
even though there were several thousand before the war. Things are
similar at other institutions where Serbs cannot seek assistance nor
even, in most cases, physically access. "If this is the situation
under the administration and control of UNMIK, Serbs are right to
ask themselves what they can expect when the Albanians running those
institutions take over completely," said Bishop Artemije. "How
can I believe that Serbs will return to Decani municipality, which
is inhabited exclusively by Albanians who will assume all authority?
How can I be tranquil with respect to my monks and Visoki Decani Monastery?"
Bishop Artemije asked the head of the U.S. mission.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Bishop Artemije pointed out the
case of the school in the village of Crkolez near Istok (Western part
of Kosovo). Despite the desire of the Spanish city of Ceuta to finance
repair of this school so that Serb children no longer have to attend
class in an old and delapidated private house, and the willingness
of the Diocese of the Raska and Prizren to donate one of its land
parcels for the school, the mayor of Istok (an Albanian) and the UNMIK
administrator refuse to allow this and are putting pressure on the
Serbs in this isolated Serb village to build a multi-ethnic school
to include Albanian children from the area -- despite the fact that
there are already dozens of ethnically pure Albanian schools in the
municipality. In the opinion of the Serbs, said Bishop Artemije, this
would lead to the disappearance of the Serb community in Crkolez because
the Albanian children are very intimidating and aggressive, as can
be seen from the numerous incidents throughout the Province. "This
is yet another example," said the Bishop, "of how Serbs
in mixed locations do not enjoy institutional protection."
The head of the U.S. Office in Pristina promised to carefully study
all the cited examples, and to work on resolving these problems.
ENCYCLICAL OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
Serbian Orthodox Church
To her spiritual children at Pascha, 2003
By the grace of God
Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and
Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox
Church—to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters
of our holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and
our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous paschal
CHRIST IS RISEN!
Brothers and sisters in the Crucified and Resurrected Lord,
Our dear spiritual children,
Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ,
let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus,
the only Sinless One,
just as millions of His disciples have worshipped Him through the
centuries, and worship Him today.
What makes us Christians different from other people? Truly it is
that we worship at His Cross and we glorify His Resurrection.
Our dear spiritual children both in the homeland and abroad, Christ’s
Cross and His Resurrection constitute the essence of our life, our
faith and our hope. The meaning of our birth, life and death were
and are found in them. In the words of the Holy Apostle Paul, if Christ
has not risen, then our faith is in vain and our lives are without
meaning. (cf. I Cor. 15:14-19).
Through His Cross and Crucifixion the unspeakable Mystery of God’s
love is revealed and given to us. Through them God reveals Himself
to us as eternal true Love, as the Love which sacrifices itself for
the other, for people and nations, and for the whole world. There
is and can be no greater love than this. On the Cross Christ, the
Son of God, shows Himself to us as the God Who not only calls us to
love, but Who shows love in action, sacrificing Himself entirely for
others. Christ’s sacrifice on Golgotha is the revelation of the great
mystery of God’s self-sacrificial love by which God embraces and heals
all beings and all creation. There is a kind of love in nature, that
is, the common worldly love which brings joy and gives birth to new
life. Earthly love is like this because it reflects the divine love
which created the whole world and which instilled its breath into
creatures and all beings. The more the love in this world, among people,
is like this divine love, the more genuine and deeper it is. And there
is no greater nor truer love than that which leads someone to sacrifice
his life for his neighbor. Christ’s love was and is this kind of love.
This is the kind of love which also belongs to His followers. Therefore
only those people and nations which live by this crucified and resurrected
love can consider themselves to be spiritually alive and worthy of
eternal life. (cf Acts 13:46)
Besides the fact that the superabundant love of God is revealed and
given to us by the Precious Cross of Christ and that by enduring it
He has made us worthy of eternal life, it reveals yet another great
truth to us: Christ’s crucifixion on the Cross reveals the meaning
of human suffering. In the image of the Crucified Christ and in the
images of the two thieves crucified with Him on Golgotha, the state
of the entire human race is presented to us. Namely, suffering is
the lot of everyone on earth, but the reasons why people suffer differ
for each person. According to the Gospel of Christ, some suffer because
of their sins, others because of the sins of their ancestors, and
still others so that God’s name may be glorified in them. Thus on
Golgotha, through the suffering of the most righteous One of all,
Jesus Christ, God’s love was made known. The suffering of the repentant
thief was for him unto the cleansing of his sins and of the evil things
he had once done, and in his crucifixion he was washed by his blood
and his repentance. But the other thief, the unrepentant one, who
also suffered on the cross, by his hatred towards God and by his evil
deeds made not only his suffering but also his very life meaningless.
What took place on Golgotha is what has happened throughout all of
human history. The just suffer in order to become even more just:
they pass through their suffering like gold through the furnace so
that their righteousness might shine with an everlasting radiance.
For sinners who repent, suffering becomes a fountain of virtues and
of regeneration, of unending wisdom and understanding. But those people
who have no faith and no repentance for their sins become through
suffering even more cruel; they wander ever deeper into spiritual
blindness, hatred and bitterness towards God and man.
May the Risen Christ keep us all from being this third kind! And He
will protect us if we “stand fast in the faith,” in the words of St.
Paul, and if we become aware of the eternal truth of life that “It
is through many tribulations that must we enter the Kingdom of Heaven”
(Acts 14:22). For the point of suffering in not merely to bring us
to our senses, as the ancient Greeks would say, but to help people
and nations “to turn away from useless things to the living God.”
(Acts 14:15). Only when understood and experienced in this way can
our own personal suffering, the suffering of our people past and present,
and the suffering of all the peoples of the earth, acquire its true
meaning and significance.
To repeat: All this is testified to by Christ’s passion on Golgotha
and by His suffering, as seen in the light of the holy and brilliant
Mystery of His Resurrection.
This is why we worship the Cross of Christ, and why we glorify His
Resurrection! This is why His Cross and suffering have become victory
over death and the medicine of immortality, the fountain of resurrection
and eternal life. That which is the most senseless has become the
source of deepest meaning. So the mystery of Christ’s resurrection
is like the leaven of new life.
People of this world constantly talk about reforms in society and
try to create a “new man.” Basing their reforms on changing “trivial
matters” and on superficial adaptations to the spirit of this age,
without any appreciation for the life-bearing fire of Christ’s Resurrection
which establishes, renews and perpetuates everything it touches, they
themselves become captives of emptiness and impermanence.
These are the kind of people who would also like to reform the Church,
living under the delusion that it is like worldly, human organizations
which, in order to survive, must constantly change and adapt themselves.
But the Church measures life by the perfect measure of Christ’s Resurrection
and the human dignity it reveals. As such it never ceases to renew
every person who comes into this world, as well as every area and
every structure of human life, calling them to constantly greater
perfection and change for the better.
Having the infinity of God as the measure of everything which is earthly
and human, not only does the Church call people and nations to a constant
process of ever greater perfection and growth “into the measure of
the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13), but by the
power of the Resurrection it gives the ability to achieve this never-ending
growth. So, in giving everything its eternal meaning and significance,
the Church cannot accept any kind of limits or restrictions to the
carrying out of its divine mission. Nothing human is alien to her,
but at the same time nothing human can enslave her—neither earthly
life, nor death, nor time, nor whatever people do over time which
restricts them: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness,
or peril, or sword? … For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things to come, nor
height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate
us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans
8: 35-39) Even while serving a particular nation, the Church attempts
to be a light to all nations and all people, attempting to transform
all peoples into one People, the People of God, that all may be one
as the Father is one with the Son and the Holy Spirit (see John 17:21).
Therefore, in the words of the Apostle, in the Church “none of us
live to ourselves, and none of us die to ourselves. For if we live,
we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore,
whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this
end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of
both the living and the dead.” (Romans 14: 8-9).
And so, brother and sisters, our dear spiritual children, let us worship
Him, the Lord of life and death, the Lord Who is risen and Who bestows
resurrection upon all creation, Who is the “Bread of Life” Who has
“come down from heaven” and Who is given “for the life of the world!”
(John 6: 48-51). Let us all sing with one mouth and one heart the
joyous Paschal hymn:
Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs bestowing life!
CHRIST IS RISEN!
Given at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade at Pascha, 2003.
Your intercessors before the Crucified and Risen Lord,
Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch
Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana JOVAN
Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Coastlands AMPHILOHIJE
Metropolitan of Midwestern America CHRISTOPHER
Metropolitan of Dabro-Bosna NIKOLAJ
Bishop of Shabac-Valjevo LAVRENTIJE
Bishop of Nish IRINEJ
Bishop of Zvornik-Tuzla VASILIJE
Bishop of Srem VASILIJE
Bishop of Banja Luka JEFREM
Bishop of Budim LUKIJAN
Bishop of Canada GEORGIJE
Bishop of Australia and New Zealand (New Gracanica Metropolitanate)
Bishop for America and Canada (New Gracanica Metropolitanate) LONGIN
Bishop of Eastern America MITROPHAN
Bishop of Banat CHRYSOSTOM
Bishop of Backa IRINEJ
Bishop of Great Britain and Scandinavia DOSITEJ
Bishop of Ras and Prizren ARTEMIJE
Bishop - Administrator of Zica ATANASIJE
Bishop of Bihac and Petrovac CHRYSOSTOM
Bishop of Osijek and Baranja LUKIJAN
Bishop of Central Europe CONSTANTINE
Bishop of Western Europe LUKA
Bishop of Timok JUSTIN
Bishop of Vranje PAHOMIJE
Bishop of Sumadija JOVAN
Bishop of Slavonia SAVA
Bishop of Branicevo IGNATIJE
Bishop of Milesevo FILARET
Bishop of Dalmatia FOTIJE
Bishop of Zahumlje and Hercegovina GRIGORIJE
Bishop of Budimlje and Niksic JOANIKIJE
Vicar Bishop of Hvostno ATANASIJE
Vicar Bishop of Jegar PORFIRIJE
Metropolitan of Veles and Povardara JOVAN,
Patriarchal Exarch of the Autonomous Archdiocese of Ohrid
[Path of Orthodoxy translation]
After Steiner's proclamation that Albanian National Army
is a terrorist organization
ALBANIAN TERRORISM UNCOVERED
of ANA as a terrorist organization is a major step forward towards
stabilization of security situation and interethnic reconciliation,
claim Serb political leaders in Kosovo. Whether this is a change
in the existing UNMIK/KFOR strategy or only a new rhetorical trick
the following days and months will show. FULL
ALBANIAN NATIONAL ARMY IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
Steiner released an administrative
direction, declaring AKSH - which has claimed responsibility for the
act for blowing up the railway bridge in Zvecan on April 12th - an
outlaw organization. Steiner said the bombing was aimed at killing
"a large number of innocent civilians and damaging public property."
The decision to declare ANA a terrorist organization was the first
such move by the U.N.'s Kosovo administration.
released an administrative direction, declaring AKSH (ANA) - which
has claimed responsibility for the act for blowing up the railway
bridge in Zvecan on April 12th - an outlaw organization.
"Noting further that AKSH publications and other propaganda materials,
including the AKSH web-site, clearly manifest that it seeks to achieve
its objectives by violence and use of force, Armata Kombetare Shpiptare
(AKSH) / Albanian National Army (ANA) is a terrorist organization
as defined under section 1 (f) of UNMIK Regulation No. 2001/12",
reads Steiner's administrative direction.
The ruling by German diplomat Michael Steiner means that members of
the Albanian National Army (ANA) can be jailed for up to 40 years.
The move suggests that Western officials are starting to take ANA,
which has been dismissed by some diplomats as little more than a band
of criminals, more seriously.
ANA says it wants to unite Albanian lands in the Balkans. It said
this week on its website that it was behind the bomb attack designed
to cut the railway connecting "occupied" parts of Kosovo
with Belgrade. Two suspected bombers were killed.
Steiner said the bombing was aimed at killing "a large number
of innocent civilians and damaging public property." The decision
to declare ANA a terrorist organization was the first such move by
the U.N.'s Kosovo administration.
U.N. police spokesman Barry Fletcher said the remains of two people
were found by a bridge, damaged in Saturday night's explosion near
the town of Zveçan, northern Kosovo. "We believe they were the
people who were setting the explosive device," UN Police spokesman
He said three people were detained in connection with the incident,
adding they were from an Albanian-populated area near the divided
flashpoint town of Mitrovica.
Also Kosovo Assembly, Government, the President Ibrahim Rugova, the
leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci and the one
of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj strongly
condemned the terrorist act of the bombing of the railway bridge near
"This is an act against stability and overall progress in Kosovo.
We expect the authorities which implement the law to investigate the
case and bring the culprits to justice", Government, Rugova,
Thaci and Haradinaj said among others.
visiting Prizren area, 28-29 March, 2003
by ERP KIM Info-Service
PAVLE SERVED MEMORIAL SERVICE TO THE VICTIMS OF NATO BOMBING OF SERBIA
SERVICES FOR VICTIMS OF NATO BOMBING HELD IN ALL SERBIAN ORTHODOX
CHURCHES - Patriarch Pavle, Boris Tadic, Vojislav Kostunica and Crown
Prince Alexander II speak on occasion of the fourth anniversary of
the NATO bombing.
ERP KIM Info-service
Belgrade, March 24, 2003
Memorial service in St. Mark's
Cathedral - Belgrade, March 24, 2003
accordance with the decision of the Holy Synod of Bishops, memorial
services (panichidas) for the victims of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
in 1999 were served in all Serbian Orthodox churches, both in the
country and abroad. His Holiness Patriarch Pavle served this year's
memorial service with the priests of his Archdiocese at St. Mark's
Cathedral in Belgrade. In his homily on the occasion of the fourth
anniversary of this tragic event, the Patriarch of Serbia prayed to
the Lord "to grant to our country and our people peace, justice and
love" and "that what happened to us never happen to any other people
in the world".
memorial service was attended by several hundred citizens, among them
Dr. Vojislav Kostunica, the former President of Yugoslavia; Boris
Tadic, Defense Minister of the Union of Serbia and Montenegro;
Vojislav Milovanovic, the Serbian Minister of Religion and Velimir
Ilic, the head of the political party "New Serbia" in the ruling DOS
have just offered our prayers for the souls of our innocent brothers
and sisters killed by NATO bombs. May the Lord rest their souls and
grant them peace in the Heavenly Kingdom. O, Lord, give us strength
to persevere to the end on Your path, no matter how narrow and difficult
it may be, because he who endures to the end will be saved. Grant
us, Lord, Your Peace, Justice and Love so that we may find ourselves
as Your faithful servants in Your Eternal Kingdom," said Patriarch
Defense Minister Boris Tadic told journalists after
the service that "although we can never forget the NATO bombing, we
have to find a way to built such reality in which we will never again
die from bombs".
could not foresee all the consequences of the NATO aggression on Yugoslavia
in 1999," said Dr. Vojislav Kostunica, "and their effect on
the life of the people and their memory. Now, in the case of Iraq,
we can see that evil happening again; however, this time with quite
a different attitude of the part of most of humanity. This is indeed
a humble consolation and encouragement after what had happened to
us four years ago," said Dr. Vojislav Kostunica when asked by journalists
to comment on the attack on Iraq in the light of our own experience
with the NATO bombing.
the occasion of the fourth anniversary of NATO bombing agression of
our country, HRH Crown Prince Alexander II said that Serbia
and Montenegro are still recovering from the attack that killed thousands,
caused enormous damage and lasted for 78 days.
"The lives that were lost will never be forgotten; they will always
be in our hearts and memory. But in the memory of those killed we
must turn to a brighter future, toward the great European family of
nations to which we all belong."
HRH Crown Prince Alexander II expressed his hope that such aggression
will never happen again and that our country will direct all its efforts
toward establishing a developed, strong and stable democracy and economy,
along with respect for all citizens regardless of their religious
or ethnic origin.
SERVICES HELD IN ALL SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCHES IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
of Raska and Prizren Artemije and his clergy served memorial services
(panichidas) in all functioning Serbian Orthodox parish churches of
Kosovo and Metohija. Panichidas were also served in all monasteries
of the Diocese. Bells at Visoki Decani and Gracanica marked a moment
of memory of all men and women, children and elderly who perished
under NATO bombs four years ago.
the mourning and prayerful recollection in Orthodox Christian churches,
Kosovo Albanians rowdily celebrated the anniversary of the bombing, waving
American and Albanian flags throughout the Province. A few days ago,
Kosovo Albanians organized a series of pro-Iraqi War rallies in Pristina
and other major cities, making Kosovo one of the few places in the
world where pro-war rallies were held.
services to the victims of NATO bombing of Serbia
left: Gracanica Monastery chappel - Bishop Artemije serving
right: Visoki Decani Monastery, hieromonks Metodije and Ilarion
BOMBING OF SERBIA
March 24, 1999
EDITORIAL BY Fr. Sava
ERP KIM Info-Service
edition of our newsletter is devoted to the memory of all those who
died or suffered during the tragic three months NATO bombing aggression
in 1999. Exactly four years ago NATO launched massive air raids against
Serbia without the approval of the UN Security Council and without
all possibilities for the peaceful settlement of the crisis first
being fully exhausted by the international community. Although NATO
claimed that the air attacks were directed against Yugoslav military
targets and the regime of Slobodan Milosevic, thousands of civilians
of all ethnicities suffered and died as "collateral damage".
This is a moment to remember all these innocent victims who were killed
in the name of "freedom and humanity" and to pray for the
repose of their souls. The lives that were lost will never be forgotten;
they will always be in our hearts and memory.
the military intervention bring full peace to Kosovo as it had been
planned? Definitely not for all. Four years after the NATO aggression
Kosovo is still not a safe place for all its citizens, severe ethnic
discrimination continues and more than 250,000 citizens of the Province
(primarily Serbs) are not allowed to return to their homes despite
the NATO and UN presence. More than Serbian Orthodox 100 churches
were turned into ashes before the eyes of the international representatives
and their powerful military. Kosovo has never been more monoethnic
in its history. A peace mission has never been more a caricature
the NATO intervention bring Milosevic's rule to the end? No, because
it was only one year later that Serbia managed to overthrow the dictator's regime
without outside assistance and trace its own way toward the future.
The bombs which fell on Serbian cities, bridges and hospitals will
never be considered by its people to have contributed to their freedom. On
the contrary, they will remain a painful reminder that friendly assistance
and democracy can never arrive on the wings of bomber aircraft and
target a Serbian bridge at Grdelicka gorge, and hit a civilian train
killing dozens of innocent civilians: "We are just little crosses
on their computer displays, We are just a part of their video-game...",
Verses by a contemporary Serbian poet Matija Beckovic
While the International
Court in The Hague is prosecuting those who have been indicted for
committing crimes against Kosovo Albanian civilians, no one yet
has assumed responsibility for at least 2,000 civilian victims of
the NATO bombing campaign. As well, no one has been brought to justice
for the 847 non-Albanian civilians killed and 1,154 kidnapped after
the arrival of NATO-led peacekeepers to Kosovo and Metohija and
the beginning of the UN Mission. Are these not crimes? If they are
not, who in the world can justify the systematic violence where
almost 2,000 innocent civilians perished in the time of peace and
how? Today we also remember these innocent victims and pray for
their eternal peace.
Praying to the
Lord of Peace, the Lord of true Peace and Love, we cannot but lament
the tragic path which some of the world's most powerful leaders
took four years ago. The depth of their deception was as profound
as the conceit of their temporary power and righteousness. Unfortunately
they are making a similar mistake today. Yet the only consolation
in this moment of sorrow is that the Lord of Peace will be the ultimate
Judge and that His Judgment will not be based on shallow principles
of human "justice" and hypocrisy. Everything not built
on the firm foundation of God's justice will not prevail.
the innocent victims of the NATO bombing in 1999, we ask the Lord
Christ to grant them eternal peace in His Heavenly Kingdom. VYECHNAYA
PAMYAT - MEMORY ETERNAL!