Bishop Artemije, Gen. Ortuno and Jock Covey
in Decani Monastery, June 24

SERB NATIONAL COUNCIL OF KOSOVO AND METOHIA

PRESS RELEASE
or immediate release

Gracanica, June 24, 2000

Decani Monastery
1. area of Albanian mortar attack, 2. area of monastery woods destruction


Today (June 24) the delegation of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren and the SNC visited the Monastery of Visoki Decani together with the KFOR Commander, Gen. Ortuno, Deputy of the Special Representative for Kosovo Jock Covey, Italian generals Carera and Villano and their team. Beside Bishop Artemije the members of the Serbian delegation were Dr Rada Trajkovic, Randjel Nojkic and Fr. Sava Janjic.

(left. The Monastery from the air. red marker area 1 shows the location where the mortars landed, location 2 is the area where the forest was cut)

Both delegations got informed on the ground about the details of the this week unfortunate events, especially the mortar attack on the monastery. In the monastery there was held a meeting on which the security aspects of the sitaution in Decani area were discussed. Mr. Alain Le Roy, the UN administrator of the Pec region informed the guests that the UN Mission has already decided to stop the works on the construction of the water tower in the monastery forest and that the local Albanians were told to return the wood. Mr. Covey, Dr. Kouchner's Depury, said that the Office of the Special Representative intends to bring a special regulation on protection of the religious and cultural sites in Kosovo and Metohija, expressing the regret that such unpleasant events occured, especially condemning the mortar attack on the monastery.

Decani Monastery Page
Diocese Web Site

The disputable location in the monastery forest
The location in the monastry pine forest where a water tower had to be constructed
and where the century old pines were cut

KFOR commanders reaffirmed their strong comittment to keep the KFOR presence in the base near the monastery of Decani and not to allow any violation of the security of the monastery. Abbot Theodosius informedv the guests that the monastery and the Italian company COOPI reached an agreement on the new location for the water tower, 800 meters away from the monastery, on the very edge of the monastery property. The monastery confirmed by this decision that the brotherhood of Decani is vitally
interested for the construction of the water supply system for Decani. On the other hand COOPI agreed to provide better water supply for the monastery and in exchange for the free given location for the water tower to grant free use of water for the monastery.

The Meeting
The meeting in Decani (from left to right): Alain Le Roy, Jock Covey, Gen Ortuno,
Fr. Theodosius, Bishop Artemije, translator, Wendy Gilmour, Gen Carrara

The working group of the SNC will work with Mr. Kouchner's team on the proposals for the new regulation on protection of the cultural and religious monuments. The position of SNC is that no uncontrolled
construction can be allowed in the very vicinity of the most important religious sites. The regulation is expected to take into consideration the specific situation in which the major Serb Orthodox Monasteries in
Kosovo and Metohia are found.

According to the opinion of Bishop Artemije this joint visit of the leading UNMIK, KFOR and SNC officials is the proof that all the problems might be resolved together in cooperation. UNMIK Civil Police and KFOR are continuing investigation of the mortar attack on the monastery.

SNC Information Service

In front of the monastery
In front of the monastery


DNEVNO SAOPSTENJE ZA STAMPU SNV KiM 24 JUNI

EPISKOP ARTEMIJE, GEN ORTUNJO I DZOK KOVI U DECANIMA

Danas je delegacija Eparhije rasko-prizrenske i SNV KiM zajedno posetila manastir Visoke Decane sa komandantom snaga KFOR-a generalom Ortunjom, zamenikom sefa misije UN g. Dzokom Kovijem, italijanskim generalima Karerom i Vilanom i saradnicima. U srpskoj delegaciji pored episkopa
Artemija bili su protosindjel Sava, Dr. Rada Trajkovic i Randjel Nojkic.

Delegacija se na licu mesta upoznala sa detaljima sece manastirske sume i prekjucerasnjim minobacackim napadom. U samom manastiru je organizovan radni sastanak na kome su razmotreni svi askpekti bezbednosne situacije na podrucju Decana. G. Alen Leroa, administrator peckog okruga, obavestio je obe delegacije da je misije UN vec obustavila radove na vodotornju u manastirskoj sumi i da je lokalnim Albancima naredjeno da vrate odnesenu drvnu gradju. Zamenik Dr. Kusnera, Dzok Kovi rekao je da
kancelarija Specijalnog predstavnika namerava da uskoro donese posebnu regulaciju o zastiti manastirskih imanja i crkava na Kosovu i Metohiji i izrazio je zaljenje sto je doslo do ovih dogadjaja. Komandanti KFOR-a su potvrdili svoju resenost da italijanska oklopna jedinica ostane prisutna
u bazi iznad manastira Decani i da se ne dozvoli bilo kakvo narusavanje bezbednosti manastira. Iguman Teodosije upoznao je prisutne da je sa italijanskom firmom COOPI vec postigao dogovor o novoj lokaciji za vodotoranj ponudivsi lokaciju 800 metara uzvodno od manastira na samom kraju manastirskog imanja. Time je potvrdjeno da manastir Decani ne namerava da otezava sistem vodosnabdevanja i da je spreman na kompromis na sto se firma COOPI obavezala da manastiru obezbedi kvalitetniji dovod vode i oslobodjenje od placanja racuna za vodu u buducnosti.

Radna grupa SNV KIM ce sa clanovima tima g. Kusnera ovih dana raditi na predlozima za regulaciju o zastiti kulturnih i verskih objekata u cijoj se neposrednoj blizini ne sme dozvoliti nikakva nekontrolisana gradnja ili industrijska proizvodnja. Posebno ce biti uzet u obzir specifican bezbednosti polozaj vecih srspkih pravoslavnih manastira.

Po oceni episkopa Artemija ova zajednicka poseta vodecih ljudi UNMIK-a, KFOR-a i SNV KiM pokazatelj je da se problemi mogu resavati zajedniciki i saradnjom. KFOR i UNMIK policija nastavljaju sa istragom povodom minobacackog napada.

Informativna sluzba SNV KiM