NEWSLETTER No 29

Bishop Artemije in New York, Cleveland and Chicago

Bishop Artemije: The fact that Roma, Goranis, Bosniacs and other communities, as well as Serbs, are being expelled shows that what is occurring is not revenge after the war, but the continuation of the old Albanian strategy from during the period of autonomy to create an ethnically pure state of Kosovo by expelling the non-Albanians, which will serve as the basis for pan-Albanian territorial unification in the Balkans.

ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, February 6, 2004

Following a stay of several days in Washington, D.C., Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren is scheduled to travel to New York City today where he will meet with representatives of the UN Security Council. He will then visit Cleveland and Chicago where he is scheduled to meet with representatives of the Serbian diaspora in the U.S.

After several important meetings in Washington and participation at yesterday's Prayer Breakfast hosted by U.S. president George Bush, Bishop Artemije told the ERP KIM Info Service that he satisfied with his contacts and hopeful that his first-hand testimony regarding the systematic violation of human rights of the Serb and other non-Albanian population in Kosovo and Metohija will encourage more interest on the part of U.S. officials in events in regional events, and convince them that ethnic cleansing is in fact taking place under the protectorate of the UN Mission and KFOR.

Commenting on yesterday's statement by Kosovo premier Bajram Rexhepi at the U.S. Institute for Peace that minority communities are not endangered in Kosovo, Bishop Artemije told the ERP KIM Info Service:

"Albanian leaders are stubbornly continuing to misrepresent the situation in the southern Serbian province to cover up their own lack of willingness to build a truly multiethnic society. Just as Milosevic at one time maintained loyal representatives of national minorities, some of whom he even sent to Rambouillet, so today Albanian leaders have so-called representatives of Kosovo minorities who generally represent only their own interests or that of a small circle of people who enjoy certain privileges from the Albanians. What has happened to the Roma, Gorani and Bosniac communities in Kosovo and Metohija can best be attested to by those who are still banished and unable to return to their burned and robbed homes. Roma and Goranis especially have been persecuted to the point where they are threatened with complete disappearance unless their rights are protected.

"In an April 29, 2003 report Amnesty International confirmed that 'more 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.' We can also find evidence of discrimination against other non-Albanian communities in the regular reports of OSCE regarding human rights in Kosovo and Metohija. The fact that Roma, Goranis, Bosniacs and other communities, as well as Serbs, are being expelled shows that what is occurring is not revenge after the war, but the continuation of the old Albanian strategy from during the period of autonomy to create an ethnically pure state of Kosovo by expelling the non-Albanians, which will serve as the basis for pan-Albanian territorial unification in the Balkans."

Bishop Artemije attends National Prayer Breakfast with U.S. president in - Diocese rejects claim by the KFOR spokesperson

The Bishop emphasized that the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija is prevented from functioning normally and that because of the poor security situation it is essential that endangered holy shrines remain under the protection of KFOR. "Without KFOR escorts the lives of my monks in most of the monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija would be impossible and the international community must not allow this," emphasized Bishop Artemije in talks with eminent U.S. congressmen and senators.


More than four years after the end of the conflict and the deployment of the peacekeeping forces in Kosovo Serbian Orthodox churches are not safe. Monks and priests are not free to perform their religious duties without military protection. Not a single out of 112 cases of attacks on the Orthodox shrines has been completely investigated. In fact, in most of cases there was no investigation at all (photo: Serb church in South Mitrovica)

Protection of Serb Patrimonial Sites

Protection of most important Serb patrimonial sites in Kosovo and Metohija, particularly the monasteries in the areas of increased security risk, must remain the responsibility of KFOR. Kosovo and UNMIK police which have failed to investigate a single case of destruction of more than 100 churches and monasteries are professionally and morally incapable of carrying this job and the Church will never agree with their involvement. The only remaining alternative to KFOR protection is to implement the provision of the UNSCR 1244 (Anex 2,6) which specifically mentions presence of the Serb personnel at the patrimonial sites in Kosovo. Cutting number of KFOR troops and dismantling the fixed check-points on expense of security of Serb enclaves and patrimonial sites will lead to further instability in the area and will deepen the mistrust of the Serb community towards the peacekeeping forces. We try to believe that the unacceptable behavior of the local German KFOR towards the brotherhood of the Holy Archangels Monastery is an isolated case and that the normal relations will be reestablished soon.

Fr. Sava Janjic - ERP KIM Info-Service editor-in-chief

Bishop Artemije informs U.S. congressmen regarding problems of Holy Archangels monks

It is the firm position of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren that the statement of the KFOR spokesman not only contradicts the existing situation on the ground but represents an open threat to the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija. Following the unprecedented behavior of German KFOR in Prizren, Bishop Artemije spoke about this problem today before representatives of the U.S. Congress, stating that the security situation for the Church has not improved at all and that the Church is exposed not only to attacks by Albanian extremists but lack of understanding and inhumane relations on the part of individual representatives of German KFOR.

"Security in Kosovo and Metohija for holy shrines and representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church does not exist because the Church continues to be exposed to attacks and provocations. Attacks on our churches are an everyday reality. In just the past month, two of our churches were attacked: one (in Gornja Brnjica) was robbed and desecrated, while the belfry of the other (in Stimlje) was set on fire. A church utility building next to the Church of the Most Holy Mother of God of Ljevis was also robbed. UNMIK and the Kosovo police have shown themselves to be incapable of investigating and solving not only these two incidents but any one of 112 instances of destruction or damage to churches in Kosovo and Metohija that have occurred since the deployment of the peacekeeping mission. They have also failed to solve the murders of two of our monks: Fr. Chariton Lukic of Holy Archangels Monastery and Fr. Stefan Puljic from Budisavci, both of whom were abducted by Albanian extremists. The body of Fr. Chariton was found headless. We have no confidence in the Kosovo Police Service and it is our opinion that endangered Orthodox holy shrines must remain under the exclusive military protection of KFOR.

"On Christmas Day this year (January 7, 2004) Albanians stoned a bus carrying Orthodox faithful in Decani. On January 21 in Djakovica Albanians attacked our monks as they were sitting in a KFOR vehicle. Our clergy and monks lack free access to their congregation; they cannot freely visit their isolated churches and cemeteries, which makes the normal functioning of the Church a minimum of religious rights for the Serb people in the Province impossible. The claim of the KFOR spokesperson that security for the Church exists is the just a blatant falsification of the truth and avoidance of responsibility," said Bishop Artemije during a telephone conversation with the ERP KIM Info Service.

If KFOR leaves we demand return of "Serbian personnel" in accordance with Resolution 1244

If KFOR has the intention of discontinuing protection for Orthodox monasteries and churches in zones that are especially exposed to danger that are located in completely Albanian environments, the Diocese will ask the Government of Serbia and the highest officials of Serbia-Montenegro to insist that UNMIK fulfill the provision of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (Annex 2:6) clearly and decisively mentioning the possibility of the return of an agreed upon number of "Serbian and Yugoslav personnel" who secure a presence at Serbian patrimonial sites.

The possibility of turning over the protection of the most important Orthodox holy shrines, especially monasteries, into the hands of the KPS or UNMIK police is unacceptable due to the past failure of the police to find a single perpetrator of attacks on 112 Orthodox churches and their inability to provide effective protection against extremists.

If neither of these solutions proves to be possible, the Church will be forced to close down its monasteries due to the unwillingness of KFOR forces to provide necessary protection for the most important cultural and historic monuments.

"The claim of the KFOR spokesperson that security for the Church exists is the just a blatant falsification of the truth and avoidance of responsibility", Bishop Artemije


Holy Archangels Monastery near Prizren - Encircled by barbed wire for almost 5 years
Larger photo http://www.kosovo.net/esarhangel.html

Monks of Holy Archangels Monastery pressured by German KFOR after reporting truth about Djakovica incident

Bishop Artemije: "I am horrified by this treatment of my monks. Such behavior on the part of the German military contingent is leading to the complete expulsion of the Orthodox Church from this region where it remained and survived for centuries, even during Turkish occupation."

The Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija expresses its sharpest protest against the intolerant behavior of German KFOR toward monks of the Monastery of Holy Archangels near Prizren.

Printer friendly version of this report in PDF with all photos is available at:
http://www.kosovo.net/archangels_report.pdf

Following the incident in Djakovica on January 21, 2004 when a group of about 30 Albanians attacked a German KFOR vehicle transporting monks of the Holy Archangels Monastery and a German TV crew filming the ruins of the Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity in the center of town, the life of the monks of the only remaining monastery in the area of responsibility of German KFOR has gotten much worse. KFOR escorts for the monastery have been discontinued with the explanation that all future escorts must be requested from Albanians in the Kosovo Police Service. The monks are no longer able to use the German military electrical generator they have been using until now, and the Orthodox priest on duty in the Bishop's residence in Prizren is being denied food.

Full report in html format: Newsletter 03. February, 2004

Bishop Artemije horrified by actions of German KFOR

"The behavior of German KFOR represents a direct threat to the religious rights of Orthodox Serbs in the Prizren area," said Bishop Artemije during a telephone interview from the U.S., where he is currently visiting. "My monks are not only protecting their monastery but also carrying out religious services to meet the needs of the remaining people. They are taking care of their spiritual and humanitarian needs. If the monks are completely isolated within the walls of their monastery in this manner, the few remaining Serbs in the Prizren area will have no possibility of attending Holy Liturgy, baptizing children, going to confession or being buried. Such behavior on the part of the German military contingent is leading to the complete expulsion of the Orthodox Church from this region where it remained and survived for centuries, even during the Ottoman occupation."

"This represents a outrageous example of punishing the monks for no other reason than that they reported the truth regarding the incident in Djakovica. German KFOR not only failed to react to that incident but attempted to cover up the fact that it ever occurred," concluded Bishop Artemije.

Bishop Artemije in U.S. State Departement: No participation to the detriment of Serbia's sovereignty

"The Serb community in Kosovo and Metohija wants a free and dignified love but it cannot accept the offer of some sort of abstract "minority rights" in exchange for Serbian sovereignty in a society being tailored by Kosovo Albanians exclusively for their own needs and interests. The Standards for Kosovo document, which practically negates the essential elements of sovereignty of Serbia-Montenegro and Resolution 1244, fundamentally prejudices the secession of the southern Serbian province; consequently, this plan must be revised before it can be accepted by the Serb side," said Bishop Artemije for the ERP KIM Info Service from Washington D.C.
In the following days the Bishop will have several meetings with U.S. Congressmen and will visit the UN HQ  in New York.

Bishop Artemije meets US State Department Officials
"Our further participation in institutions now depends exclusively on the attitude of the international community which needs to offer something concrete, visible and measurable for our people. Otherwise, our participation in the institutions will only serve to push more Serbs out of Kosovo and Metohija. We are willing to participate only if this ensures the survival of the Serb people, not to legitimize the provisional institutions. We truly cannot continue in that direction," said Bishop Artemije during a meeting with State Department officials

Full report, Newsletter - 3. February, 2004

Bishop Artemije gives lecture at Western Policy Center in Washington, D.C. (January 29, 2004)

While it is true that many hospitals have been restored, Serbs cannot seek treatment in them; numerous roads have been paved but Serbs lack the freedom to travel on them; tens of thousands of houses have been renovated but only about one hundred of them are owned by Serbs. After the war, all mosques were repaired and many new ones built while over one hundred Serbian churches still lie in ruins and not one has been reconstructed; there are many new supermarkets, gas stations and restaurants but what use are they to Serbs when only Albanians and foreigners can safely enter them? In short, based on his first-hand experience, the average Serb feels that UNMIK has come to help only one community while Serbs appear fated to live as second-class citizens on the margins of society, said Bishop Artemije during his lecture on Thursday in Washington, D.C.


Bishop Artemije at the Western Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
January 29, 2004 http://www.westernpolicy.org/

Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, who is presently on a working visit to the U.S. with his associates, gave a lecture on Thursday, January 29 at the Western Policy Center in Washington, D.C. on the topic of Multiethnic Kosovo - Diplomatic Dream or Balkan Reality. The lecture was jointly organized by the Western Policy Center and the Serbian Unity Congress in the U.S. in order to inform the U.S. public regarding the present situation in Kosovo and Metohija and possible solutions for the crisis in the future.

Full report on the presentation by Bishop Artemije

For more information on positions of Bishop Artemije regarding the Kosovo issue you can download a zip-file with 15 MS Word documents (testimonies in US Congress, public letter, statements, interviews) /bishop_texts.zip   500 KB 

Biography of Bishop Artemije: http://www.kosovo.net/artemy.html

The complete text of the Bishop's speech at the Western Policy Center you can find on:

http://www.westernpolicy.org/Secondary.asp?PageName=Programs&Page=PolicyForums/20040129/index.asp

or on our local page:

http://www.kosovo.net/wpc_2004.html

January 28, 2004

Bus carrying Kosovo Serb pupils stoned by ethnic Albanian mob

Kosovska Mitrovica, 28 Jan (Tanjug, Belgrade) - A bus which was carrying Kosovo Serb pupils between Kosovska Mitrovica and Gojbulja, was stoned by a group of some thirty ethnic Albanians in Novo Selo, northern Kosovo, around 6 pm (5000 GMT) on Tuesday.

Albanian throng in Djakovica attacks German KFOR vehicle with Serbian Orthodox monks and German TV crew

(photo: German soldiers repairing damaged KFOR vehicle after Albanian attack)

The gathered Albanians made a lot of noise and began to verbally attack the monks and German soldiers with the most vulgar expressions. They then began to pound on the chassis and windows of the vehicle using their feet and hands, and to throw balls of frozen snow. The German soldiers noticed that during the furious attack one of the bumpers of the minibus was almost broken off (see photo left), which was later repaired. In the meanwhile, the horrified ARD German state television crew, which had been filming the nearby ruins of the Serbian Orthodox church blown up by the Albanians in the summer of 1999, frightened out of its wits, jumped into one of the vehicles and the entire column raced at breakneck speed as far as the Italian military base a few hundred meters away. Several civilian passenger vehicles of angry Albanians immediately set out after the KFOR vehicles and stopped only when the two minibuses and the German transporter literally crashed through the ramp of the Italian KFOR military base, stated Brother Bojan Dejanovic of Holy Archangels Monastery, an eyewitness of the incident.

Full report on: Newsletter 22 January, 2004


The Church of Holy Archangel Michael in Stimlje
The burned upper part of the belfry is visible in the photo. The grotesque
conclusion of the UNMIK police that it was not an attack on the church but only a part of a "childrens game" is seen by the Serbian Orthodox Church and Kosovo Serb people as an open solidarity with the arsonists and criminals.
 http://www.kosovo.net/belfry_stimlje2_vel.jpg

Belfry of the church of Holy Archangel Michael set on fire by ethnic Albanians

After the recent desecration of the Holy Apostles church in Gornja Brnjica near Pristina, ethnic Albanians set fire to belfry of Church of the Holy Archangel Michael near Stimlje. After today's visit of the delegation of the Church to Stimlje the general conclusion is that this could be nothing but an arson attack, many of which have been seen so far all over Kosovo and Metohija.

ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, January 21, 2004

(desecrated Orthodox Christian icons in Holy Archangel Michael church in Stimlje. An archive photo from "Kosovo Crucified". The church was desecrated by Muslim Albanian extremists in summer 1999)

The Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija most strongly condemns the setting of a fire in the belfry of the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Holy Archangel Michael in Stimlje. After the recent desecration of the church in the village of Gornja Brnjica near Pristina, this represents yet another instance of attack on Orthodox holy shrines in the area of central Kosovo and Metohija. As in the previous instance, this attack also occurred in the area of responsibility of Finnish KFOR, which in both cases failed to protect the targeted churches.

According to an UNMIK police report dated January 20, 2004, on Sunday, January 18 at approximately 17,25 hours a fire was set in the belfry of the church which was quickly localized by the firefighting team. The report goes on to state that on the basis of initial findings it is believed that the fire "was caused by children and not thought to be a direct attack against the church or its community".

Today ERP KIM Info Service correspondent G.N. and Fr. Randjel Denic, the parish priest for Lipljan and Stimlje, attempted to verify the UNMIK police report regarding the fire that broke out in the belfry of the Serbian Orthodox church in Stimlje. They first contacted Finnish KFOR, whose area of responsibility includes Stimlje, and requested additional information regarding the incident. Local representatives at the Finnish base in Lipljan did not demonstrated the slightest willingness to help them or provide photos of the damage in KFOR's possession. They even refused to provide them with a military escort so they could visit the church because they claimed the existence of full freedom of movement. The Finnish chaplain, who was separately addressed by Fr. Randjel, also refused to help.

Finally the ERP KIM reporter and Fr. Randjel set out unescorted and at their own risk to determine the damage that had been done to the belfry. The fire damaged a significant part of the wooden construction and roof of the belfry. The priest did not have time to enter the church itself because a group of Albanians, obviously hostile as a result of the arrival of the Serbian priest and a reporter, had already gathered around the church. The church and belfry are encircled by barbed wire and Fr. Randjel stated categorically that it is completely impossible for "children" to easily access the belfry because the barbed wire had to be cut by pliers.

"It would appear that this was an act of arson and the next target may easily be the church itself, which is without direct KFOR protection," Fr. Randjel told the ERP KIM Info Service, adding: "The UNMIK police report, which states that the fire was set by "children", sounds all too familiar to Kosovo Serbs, who have heard the same justification for many previous attacks against cemeteries and churches. For example, two years ago, according to an official KFOR report, 'small children' removed and carried off the entire copper roof of the Church of St. Lazar in Piskoti near Djakovica and dug up the Orthodox cemetery there." "In Stimlje today there are only 17 elderly Serbs remaining who almost do not go out of their homes and it is completely certain that a fire will be set by local Albanians," said Fr. Randjel.

After visiting the church Fr. Randjel and our correspondent visited the local UNMIK administrator Masanba Seck of Nigeria who received them in the building of the Stimlje municipal assembly where the flag of the Republic of Albania was prominently displayed. Although the building also includes an UNMIK office, no UN Mission markings were displayed although Kosovo Province is under UN administration and not a part of Albania. The UNMIK administrator said that he could not give any statement regarding the case and that an investigation of the incident by UNMIK and the Kosovo police is in the progress.

When our reporter asked why neither UNMIK nor KFOR informed church representatives of the incident, which they had found out about almost by chance from a very brief UNMIK police report posted on the World Wide Web, neither the UNMIK representative nor the KFOR commander had any comment.


The building of the Municipal Assembly of Stimlje with an unavoidable flag of
Republic Albania. Although within the building is located the local UNMIK office there is
no UN flag or any UNMIK sign. Is this multiethnicity and implementation of 1244 UNSCR Mr. Holkeri or just building of a new Albanian state on the sovereign territory of Serbia?
larger photo: /municip_stimlje_vel.jpg

The local spokesman of the Finnish battalion Jani Manakaneki said in a brief statement for the ERP KIM Info Service that the wooden belfry of the Orthodox church in Stimlje had been set on fire at approximately 17,25 hours on January 18. The Finnish battalion removed its fixed control checkpoint in front of the church on October 2003 because the situation is purportedly "stable" and there is full freedom of movement in the region of Stimlje municipality. KFOR patrols pass through Stimlje twice daily, said Manakenaki, adding that the entire case is under the jurisdiction of local Kosovo and UNMIK police, who are conducting an investigation.

The Church of the Holy Archangel Michael was build on a hill above Stimlje in 1920-22 on the foundation of an older church which existed here in the Middle Ages. The church was also build as a memorial shrine to the fallen Serbian soldiers of World War I. It was build according to the design of one of the first Serbian woman architects, Jelisaveta Nacic, with funding from the Kneginja Ljubica Fund. Several of the icons in the church are the work of painter Uros Predic. An orphanage for girls was originally built next to the church. In 1977 the church was restored.

One of latest revelations of the UNMIK spokesman Derek Chapell

Stimlje church fire

 On 18th January at 1725 Police in Shtime were notified of a fire in the bell tower of the Orthodox church. Some early reports called this fire an arson. It now appears that the fire was accidental, caused by children playing.

From the police report signed by Derek Chapell, Jan 21, 2004

UNMIK police adds oil to the fire with their ironic and unfounded qualifications of the Stimlje arson attack

Commentary by Fr. Sava Janjic

ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, January 21, 2004

After five years of constant ignoring of systematic destruction of the Serb religious and cultural heritage, which was either ascribed to some unknown attackers or even Serbs themselves, UNMIK police now finds another way of avoiding their own responsibility. intentionally publishing a shameless lie that the fire in the belfry of the Stimlje church
"was accidental, caused by children playing".

It appears that Mr. Chappell and UNMIK police officials still live in their own dreams and not in Kosovo's reality. But the the truth is different. UNMIK police has now thrown all its masks off and is openly siding with Kosovo Albanian extremists in fear of their own lives and careers. It would be no wonder that Mr. Chappell said that the fire broke because of intensive heat in January.

However, let's go back to Stimlje and see some facts:

1. First of all the church and the belfry are surrounded by a thick barbed wire ring and for anyone to enter the church compound would have to cut the barbed wire which is not so easy for adults, not to mention children. OK, these were tough and strong Kosovo children.

2. In order to climb the locked belfry the children had to break the lock which perhaps could be a part of the children game. I really do not believe that Mr. Chappell ever played in that way anytime in his life, but OK again, Kosovo "games" are unique in the world. Instead of playing with toys Kosovo Albanian children burn churches, dig graves and rob houses. Quite an interesting phenomenon for sociologists, indeed.

3. To set the fire in cold weather, in the middle of winter and snow cannot be done by firecrackers or matches. One needed some fuel to make the old wooden beams burn. So the children had to carry some gasoline to play with. OK, another of Kosovo beloved toys.

To sum it up Mr. Chappell's "children" could not have been children at all but ethnic Albanian adults who intentionally cut the barbed wire, broke into the belfry and set it on fire as a first step before blowing up the church, which will of course come next. This obvious arson attack cannot be qualified as a game except if UNMIK police officials do not consider "such fire games" a part of acceptable behavior which can be tolerated.

In any case this ironic and totally unfounded qualification by the UNMIK police is seen and felt by the Serbian Orthodox Church as an open act of solidarity with the arsonists and criminals. Who knows, perhaps the next revelation from the UNMIK police HQ would be that the Serbian Holy sites are being destroyed by aliens and UFO's. No.... Sava you are going to far, because NATO would probably be blamed for this failure then. The "children" are the most innocent solution, particularly in the winter season when they like to play with fire.

Tragedy is no joke

After an amusing recollection of all UNMIK propaganda stupidities (Hazelock was a champion indeed) I remembered a local Kosovo joke about "little children" which goes something like this:

Five hundred kilograms [more than 1,000 pounds] of iron disappears from a warehouse. Police ask the Albanian security guard who took the iron and he replies, unhesitatingly, "It was little children." Confused, the police ask him how little children could possibly have made off with half a ton of iron. "And how are little children supposed to know a half a ton of iron is so heavy?" replies the Albanian nonchalantly.

 


Communique
Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren
Kosovo and Metohija

Unprecedented arrogance of Finnish KFOR

Finnish KFOR refused any assistance to the Serbian Orthodox priest and a reporter who wanted to visit Stimlje

The behavior of the Finnish battalion is not only shameful for all of KFOR but is resulting in worsening relations between the Serb population and military forces who by their passivity and irresponsibility are openly placing themselves on the side of the Albanian extremists, forcing the Serbs to increasingly view them as occupying forces

ERP KIM Info Service
January 21, 2004, Gracanica

The Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija expresses it horror and protest due to the unprofessional and irresponsible attitude of members of Finnish KFOR in Central Kosovo. Unfortunately, instead of performing their jobs and protecting threatened holy shrines in their area of responsibility, just days after an attack on the church in the village of Gornja Brnjica we have yet another attack on the Serbian Orthodox Church. Instead of informing representatives of the Diocese in a timely manner and at least assisting the parish priest in visiting the scene of the attack, Finnish KFOR representatives behaved very provocatively and arrogantly toward representatives of the Diocese, who requested but were not granted a military escort to visit the church and assess the extent of the damage.

By transferring all responsibility on UNMIK and the Kosovo police, Finnish KFOR is behaving in exactly the same manner as only days ago when its members calmly and coldly observed the beating of Serb men and women from Novo Naselje by Kosovo Albanian hooligans, refusing even to provide emergency medical care to the injured man. This inhuman behavior by individual members of the Finnish battalion who were in contact with the representatives of the Diocese today, including even their chaplain who refused to provide any assistance whatsoever, is not only shameful for all of KFOR but is resulting in worsening relations between the Serb population and military forces who by their passivity and irresponsibility are openly placing themselves on the side of the Albanian extremists, forcing the Serbs to increasingly view them as occupying forces and not as peacekeepers.

Unfortunately, while the former secretary of the NATO alliance Lord Robertson is being (secretly though) awarded the highest honor of the Serbia-Montenegro Army, at the same time in Kosovo and Metohija NATO is allowing Albanian nationalists to freely continue with the ethnic cleansing of the Serbian people and the destruction of its holy shrines by its passivity in the battle against Albanian extremism and ethnic violence. We ask to what extent representatives of the Serbia-Montenegro Army and Ministry of Defense, who chose to generously bestow this honor upon the same man who coolly stated that Serbs "were impaling Albanian babies with their bayonettes" (see interview in NIN, Belgrade weekly) are in fact representing the interests of the people who elected them to their posts and to what extent they are acting out of their personal and political interests.

In response to a recent letter by Bishop Artemije to KFOR commander in chief general Holger Kammerhoff regarding the attempt to usurp the Church of Christ the Savior in which the Bishop requested reinforced protection for this church, the general in a rather official way replied that the Bishop should address the appropriate municipal institutions, advising him to urge greater Serb participation in the work of institutions - the same institutions which passed the decision to usurp the church property in the first place by outvoting the Serb deputies, which are terrorizing the remaining Serbs in the Province under the guise of law. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to understand whether this attitude is the result of a complete lack of experience and unfamiliarity with the real situation or an arrogant irony being used to permit the unobstructed continuation of Albanian institutional repression against the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija.

The Diocese is especially embittered by the fact that no one bothered to inform it regarding attacks on the property of the Serbian Orthodox Church and that it is forced to learn of such events through the highly filtered and impersonal reports of the UNMIK police. Even when they aware of an attack on a church, SOC representatives are unable to safely travel to the scene of the attack due to the lack of freedom of movement and security. Taking into account the degree of corruption among the majority of UNMIK personnel, many of whom are also on the pay lists of the Albanian mafia, it would hardly have been surprising if the whole church had been blow apart - only to be somehow justified by someone or even more simply ignored, in keeping with the folk adage - Three days of any wonder are more than enough.

Information Service of the Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija

Newsletter 21 January, 2004

Kosovo Serbs do not want to participate in collective suicide

Let's be clear. The Serbs are not against humanitarian standards and improvement of their lives but are against the entire context of so called "Standards for Kosovo" which in its essence represent a revision of the UNSC Resolution 1244. The mandate of Mr. Holkeri, as he said on his meeting with Bishop Artemije in Gracanica a few days ago, is to implement the Resolution 1244. The Resolution consists of certain clear provisions which have not yet been implemented and it appears that UNMIK has no intention to implement them at all. The most important of them which should be realized prior to the final status settlement are: Kosovo Province as a substantial autonomy within Serbia-Montenegro, return of S-M personnel to the borders and in vicinity of the patrimonial sites, return of all refugees. Instead of these provisions UNMIK is offering another set of standards which de facto means creation of completely independent Kosovo institutions which will serve as a basis for the secession of the Province.


The true role of UNMIK In Kosovo seems to be completion of what NATO bombs began in 1999  - to make an independent Albanian state in which there will be no Serbs left. Four years ago the euphemism was a "humanitarian intervention", now they call it
 "Standards for Kosovo"

The sign of former FR Yugoslavia on one of the border crossings in Kosovo. Since arrival of UNMIK and KFOR Serbia's borders in its southern Province have become almost nonexistent. In reality, despite Resolution 1244 UNMIK is practically creating an independent Albanian state in Kosovo under a pretext of  building of "self-governing" institutions. Serbs have no reasons, whatsoever to participate in amputation of their sovereign territory in exchange for some vaguely defined "minority rights" which will anyway be nonexistent in sovereign Kosovo as they are now under the UN Protectorate.

Editorial by Fr. Sava Janjic:

Pressures on Serbs to support "Standards for Kosovo" are continuing

In any case after the latest elections in Serbia it has become more clear that the Serbian people will not peacefully and passively tolerate cutting their country apart by UNMIK and NATO. Serbia is ready to continue its reforms and the process of integration but not on expense of its sovereignty and dignity, particularly not on expense of its citizens in Kosovo which are today most discriminated inhabitants of Europe. Therefore, one of the first steps of the New Serbian Government should be to initiate a new Standards implementation plan which would primarily focus on implementation of already existing standards of the UNSCR 1244. Kosovo institutions can count on Serb participation only if they are in function of all citizens of the Province regardless of their ethnicity. Creation of institutions which will serve only the ethnic Albanian interests is absolutely unacceptable and no Serb representative will ever get mandate by their own people to participate in them.

ERP KIM Info-service
January 21, 2004

These days we are witnessing continual pressures on Serb representatives in Kosovo institutions to back the Holkeri's plan "Standards for Kosovo" and take part in the work of the "working groups".

Let's be clear. The Serbs are not against humanitarian standards and improvement of their lives but are against the entire context of so called "Standards for Kosovo" which in its essence represent a revision of the UNSC Resolution 1244. The mandate of Mr. Holkeri, as he said on his meeting with Bishop Artemije in Gracanica a few days ago, is to implement the Resolution 1244. The Resolution consists of certain clear provisions which have not yet been implemented and it appears that UNMIK has no intention to implement them at all. The most important of them which should be realized prior to the final status settlement are: Kosovo Province as a substantial autonomy within Serbia-Montenegro, return of S-M personnel to the borders and in vicinity of the patrimonial sites, return of all refugees. Instead of these provisions UNMIK is offering another set of standards which de facto means creation of completely independent Kosovo institutions which will serve as a basis for the secession of the Province.

The new "Standards for Kosovo", which have appeared under the pressures of certain international circles which want to speed up Kosovo's independence, do not mention that Kosovo institutions must be established within the framework of substantial autonomy within Serbia Montenegro. There is no reference to return of the S-M personnel either. This practically means that Serbia which was granted by the Resolution 1244 inviolability of its international borders (at least until the final negotiated settlement) is in forced to tolerate building of a quasi-independent state in which non-Albanian citizens are exposed to continual violations of human rights and freedoms by the ethnic Albanian majority.

From the legal point of view participation of Serb representatives in implementation of the revised UNSCR 1244 would mean denial of the very Resolution and acceptance of secession of Kosovo Province. Once independent Kosovo institutions are created without any institutional link with Serbia it would be impossible to negotiate about anything else but secession. The new "Standards for Kosovo" are being forced by certain diplomatic circles which under the pretext of protection of so called "minority rights" want to close the Kosovo issue as soon as possible and bring Belgrade to fait accomplis.

Therefore the strong opposition of Serb representatives against the so called "Standards for Kosovo" is not demonstrating Serb obstruction in improvement of their own human rights, which would be absurd, but their clear position that UNSCR 1244 cannot be changed but should be implemented to the very last letter. Four years ago, Serbs could see how a so called "humanitarian operation" of NATO was launched against Serbia under the pretext of protection of human rights although it is very clear now to every person better acquainted with the Balkan issues that the intervention itself created a humanitarian catastrophe and that the violations of human rights have not been stopped after the intervention but have continued on expense of Serbs, Roma, Bosniaks, Croats and other non-Albanian communities. To put it short, a pretext of so called "humanitarian intervention"  was used in order to change borders of a sovereign country as well as today "Standards for Kosovo" are being introduced as a tool to finish the process and cut off all remaining links between the southern Serbia's province and its mother state.

In any case after the latest elections in Serbia it has become more clear that the majority of Serbian people will not peacefully and passively tolerate cutting their country apart by UNMIK and NATO. Serbia is ready to continue its reforms and the process of EU integration but not on expense of its sovereignty and dignity, particularly not on expense of lives of its citizens in Kosovo which are today most discriminated inhabitants of Europe. Therefore, one of the first steps of the New Serbian Government should be to initiate a new Standards implementation plan which would primarily focus on implementation of already existing standards of the UNSCR 1244. Kosovo institutions can count on Serb participation only if they are in function of all citizens of the Province regardless of their ethnicity. Creation of institutions which willserve only the ethnic Albanian interests is absolutely unacceptable and no Serb representative will ever get mandate by their own people to participate in them.

This is exactly what Bishop Artemije said to Mr. Holkeri a few days ago. In his latest interview to the Belgrade daily "Svedok" he rephrased his statement saying more clearly: "Four years' experience has taught us not to accept cooperation on our own expense". This opinion reflects the views of great majority, if not of all Kosovo Serbs who have paid a dear price (in 2000 missing and killed and 115 churches) for their well-minded belief that UNMIK and NATO arrived to Kosovo to play an evenhanded role of peacekeepers.

"Racak case" in public focus again

(Verdict before a detailed investigation - William Walker)

"Racak case" has come into public focus again after the recent incident in the Kosovo and Metohija Parliament when on occasion of the 6th anniversary of the event Serb MP's from POVRATAK Coalition refused to join Kosovo Albanian MP's in a minute of silence "for the fallen Albanian civilians" in Racak. Later some of the Serb MP's explained that this was unnecessary politization of the issue because there are many proofs that the victims were in fact armed KLA rebels who were killed during an armed conflict with the Serbian police.

Since January 1999 the incident which occurred in the village of Racak, near Stimlje, was (mis)interpreted in different ways. The ruling chief of the OSCE Verifying Mission in Kosovo Amb. William Walker (U.S), a person of highly disputed moral reputation, immediately said that it was a massacre carried by the Serbian MUP against innocent and unarmed ethnic Albanian civilians. This statement and the media campaign which erupted after the event initiated the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia, which had been prepared months before. The official version of the Belgrade Government was that it was a typical setup. The Government agreed that there was a conflict between the police and the armed KLA members in Racak, but insisted that most of Albanian bodies were moved to one location and placed in a way that was intended to make it like a massacre of unarmed civilians. To the wider public it was almost unknown that during the fight with the KLA group in Racak "several Serbian soldiers were also shot" as Dr. Ranta confirmed for Berliner Zeitung. Definitely, someone was shooting at them.

Dr. Helena Ranta was a chief of the Finnish pathologist team which carried out post mortem of the Albanian bodies found in Racak. Although during the war-time hysteria it was said that Dr. Ranta could not deny the "fact" that the fallen Albanians were unarmed civilians, six years later a respected German daily published serious concerns by Dr. Ranta regarding the work of the Hague Tribunal which used the Racak case as one of the key evidences in proving "ethnic cleansing and massacres of unarmed Kosovo Albanians" prior to the NATO bombing campaign.

In our today's report we are enclosing both the English translation of the article in the Berliner Zeitung and the German original, which is available on the Internet. The intention of the ERP KIM Info-Service is neither to deny nor confirm what happened in Racak but only to shed some more light on one of the most controversies events which was used in order to justify NATO's air raids against Serbia in March 1999.

Full report with the text from Berliner Zeitung at:
Newsletter 19 January, 2004

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