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Belgrade Media Monitoring

Compilation from Belgrade daily newspapers, prepared by editorial staff of the Voice of Kosovo and Metohia

March 25, 2000

  • South Serbian Albanians establish political council
  • Extended Session of Democratic Reform Party of Albanians: We Defended Sovereignty of Our Country
  • Strpce: Protest against the NATO aggression
  • Philippe Anido Denied Serbian Media Report: Border is not "Closed"
  • Contact Group on Tuesday about Kosovo
  • "Berliner Zietung" Reveals: Racak Massacre Never Existed
  • General elections in Kosovo next year: Albright
  • Kosovo Refugees Afraid of Mobilisation

    (B2 - 92, 25. 3. 2000)

    PRESEVO, Friday Albanians from the south Serbian boroughs of Bujanovac, Presevo and Medvedja have formed a political council to protect their interests in the region, representative Junuz Muslic said today. Muslic told media that the council was opposed to any kind of armed conflict and would use only political channels.

    US State Department spokesman James Rubin said today that significant progress had been made in south Serbia because Albanian rebel leaders there had agreed to give up all military activities aimed at the Belgrade regime. Rubin added that the US Administration hoped this would lead to a lessening of tensions in the Presevo Valley area.

    Meanwhile NATO Secretary General George Robertson and European Commander Wesley Clark cancelled a scheduled visit to the northern Kosovo troublespot of Kosovska Mitrovica today for what were described as operational reasons. They were expected to visit Pristina late this afternoon.


    (Politika daily, 25. 3. 2000)

    Pristina, March 24th (Tanjug)

    Each citizen took part while defending our country from the NATO aggression, regardless of our national or religious beliefs, stated Sokolj Cuse the president of Democratic Reform Party of Albanians (DRPA).

    - Calling upon the year that passed after the shameful NATO aggression on our country, the president of DRPA Sokolj Cuse has emphasised that the people of Yugoslavia, headed by president Slobodan Milosevic as the chief commander, successfully and honourably defended the country's sovereignty and its territorial integrity.

    - Everyone took part in its defence. Atrocious air raids took many lives away, only because Republic of Serbia and FRY did not yield to the dictation of the world's top powers, the worst evil of fascism nowadays, pointed out Cuse.

    - Albanian nation within Kosovo and Metohia has always had all the rights and privileges- they held Universities, primary and secondary schools and the positions among the highest political instances.

    Unfortunately, only few individuals and the traitors of their own people- the lickspittles pandering to the Western countries- have been homed in by the warmongers and together with them started a war campaign against the sovereign Serbia and the FRY in order to create - "independent Kosovo".

    "Nevertheless, even during the time of bombing as well as now, the Albanians defended their own country and refused any kind of ultimatum together with Serbs, Turks, Montenegrins and Romanies". (*)


    (Serbia info, 25. 3. 2000)

    March 24, 2000 - Strpce, March 24th (Tanjug) - A protest rally marking the anniversary of NATO aggression on Yugoslavia was organised today by the Serbian National Assembly of the municipality of Strpce.

    Some 3,000 citizens condemned not only the NATO aggression, but also the failure in implementing the UN Security Council Resolution 1244. An open letter to KFOR and UNMIK was also read.

    "Current order violates the principles of inviolability of state borders and co-ordination within the UN" - reads the letter. NATO first imposed itself as the UN army instead of former Blue Helmets, and than, from an executive, it turned into an order giving body. It made the UN - former order giver - a mask, a camouflage for its arrogance, its servant".

    "Hence, on March 23-24 1999 NATO launched the attack on Yugoslavia, one of the UN founders/members, without the approval of this international organisation", says the letter.


    (Glas javnosti, 25. 3. 2000)

    Pristina (Beta) - KFOR spokesman Philippe Anido denied Serbian Media allegations that international peacekeeping forces closed all border-crossings along the administrative line between the central Serbia and Kosovo.

    - KFOR has not closed the crossings for the regular civilian transport. The civilians, however, have to accept the fact that some delays occurred for the personal data check; it was in their own interest, said Anido. (*)


    (Blic daily, 25. 3. 2000)

    Paris - Meeting of Contact Group for former Yugoslavia will be held in Paris on Tuesday and will deal with the situation in Kosovo.

    Yugoslav Ambassador in Moscow Borislav Milosevic yesterday expressed his opposition to activation of Contact Group for stabilisation of the situation in Kosovo. "We want that all issues related to Yugoslavia are settled within UN only", Milosevic said.


    (Danas, 25. 3. 2000)

    Bonn (Beta)

    - Murder of 40 Albanians in Racak village last January has not been a premeditated killing of unarmed civilians, reveals "Berliner Zietung".

    The journal states to possess copies of the 40 non-revealed autopsy reports executed by the Finnish forensic medicine experts. Reports clearly state:

    "There was no proof whatsoever that, actually, the peaceful villagers were killed in Racak".

    "The so-called Racak incident, after the phase of relative peace in Kosovo, at the beginning of 1999, caused a severe worsening of the situation and the critical turnabout", recalls Berliner Zietung. The text further reports:

    "39 out of the 40 autopsy reports, denies that the victims were shot from short distance". Furthermore, there is no evidence whatsoever that the persons found have been maltreated by the Serbian security forces in any way", confirms the paper.

    The Finnish forensic medicine expert team, headed by Helena Rantaa, has revealed their report on the Racak victims last May; some spots still remained opened. Nevertheless, the American president, Bill Clinton, stated immediately after the victims being found, that "innocent men, women and children", have been forced to "kneel in the mud to be executed afterwards."

    Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the OSCE, the "Berliner" reminds, reported then, that "they, actually, found the evidences proving the unarmed civilians were murdered and maimed" and in addition - "many of whom were shot from the shortest distance". (*)


    (B2 - 92, 25. 3. 2000)

    Paris, Friday General elections should take place in Kosovo next year as a logical next step after local elections due this autumn, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said today. Albright was quoted in an interview for a special edition of Paris daily Le Monde dedicated to the anniversary of the NATO attack on Yugoslavia


    (Danas, 25. 3. 2000)

    Kraljevo - Former recordings of the refugees placed in Kraljevo municipality, carried out by some humanitarian organisations (Red Cross, UNHCR, etc.) deal with the number, ranging from 18 to 20.000 displaced persons from Kosovo. Since there are solid reasons to believe that all the displaced have not been recorded, Slobodan Stanisic a municipal commissariat officer, considers the number of 25.000 to be the real one. With the recording pace they had so far, 16.000 are the numbers to be expected.

    Oddly enough, the registering lists are not being processed in Kraljevo but are being sent to Belgrade each night. Consequently, the Kraljevo Commissariat has no data concerning the structure of the persons recorded. It has been noticed, however, that not a man aged 18-35 can be found among the registered.

    Stanisic emphasises the mentioned category of displaced persons "is less present in the documents, than in real population, for the fear of various abuses. I do not have any reason to doubt that anyone might have the intention to abuse these data and I have been repeating it to everyone", says Stanisic.

    Arandjel M, the lawyer from Klina says: "The back cover of the identity card has a complete nonsense written on it. Can you imagine, according to this card, the displaced person is entitled to have all rights and obligations as any other national of Republic of Serbia but according to the valid regulations. As if we came from Australia! This must be some kind of double-dealing".

    According to some estimations, there are 1500 Romanies in Kraljevo municipality. There are about 160 of them in the collective centres; they were the first to have registered themselves. The rest are afraid the Serbian regime might take advantage of them.

    "If he was able to kill so many Serbs, why would he care about all the Romanies who would be certainly killed by Albanians", says Berisa Avdi, a Romany from Pristina. (*)

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