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Belgrade Media Monitoring

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

April 27, 2000

  • Politika: International terrorist Osama Bin Laden is in Kosovo
  • Serb house burnt
  • More arms found in Kosovo
  • Kosovo Serbs to boycott census, election
  • Representatives of fry committee for cooperation with UN hold talks on detained Serbs
  • Vojislav Kostunica and Hasim Thaqi gave written opinions about Kosovo to Beta agency: Opposite stances about Kosovo status
  • Ecological and health changes would be manifested in following decades
  • War crime court in Kosovo
  • Del Ponte requests visa
  • Albert Roan visits Kosovo
  • Djukanovic goes to Tirana
  • POLITIKA: INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST OSAMA BIN LADEN IS IN KOSOVO

    (Politika daily/Digest, 27. 4. 2000)

    Pristina, April 26 (Tanjug) Defamed international terrorist of Saudi origin, Osama Ben Laden, found a hew shelter in the Balkans, in the nest of European terrorism, Kosovo and Metohija, Politika Daily reported. He came with close friend, Abu Hasan, who has killed three British tourists on December 1998. Ben Laden crossed to Kosovo from Albania where he trained a group of 500 mujahedins for new wave of violence in southern Serbia (Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja). (*)

    SERB HOUSE BURNT

    (Politika daily/Digest, 27. 4. 2000)

    Obilic, April 26 (Tanjug) A house of a Serb, Obrad Nancic, was burnt in Obilic yesterday. (*)

    MORE ARMS FOUND IN KOSOVO

    (B2 - 92, 27. 4. 2000)

    Pristina, Wednesday International forces in Kosovo have confiscated a large amount of ammunition and made thirteen arrests for illegal possession of arms in the past 24 hours. KFOR spokesman Frank Benjaminson told media today that a crowd of about 150 had gathered in Golubica demanding the release of those detained but had dispersed after military backup arrived.

    KOSOVO SERBS TO BOYCOTT CENSUS, ELECTION

    (B2 - 92, 27. 4. 2000)

    Pristina, Wednesday Kosovo Serb leader Rada Trajkovic said today that the position of the Serb National Council was that Serbs would not take part in any census or elections in Kosovo until their conditions were met. The conditions include guarantees for the safety of Serbs remaining in Kosovo and repatriation of displaced Kosovo Serbs. Serb representatives on the Temporary Administrative Council of Kosovo have also refused to accept a document regulating the rights and obligations of international missions in Kosovo, saying that they need additional consultations. The Council adopted the proposal for establishing a Central Electoral Commission after it was approved by the UN mission in the province.

    REPRESENTATIVES OF FRY COMMITTEE FOR COOPERATION WITH UN HOLD TALKS ON DETAINED SERBS

    (Borba daily, 27. 4. 2000)

    Representatives of the Yugoslav committee for cooperation with the United Nations Jovica Jovanovic and Zoran Balinovac held talks on Tuesday with Kosovo and Metohija civilian mission UNMIK regional police commander for Kosovska Mitrovica Sven Eric Larsen on the health conditions of detained Serbs and Serbs who have long been in prison for minor offences.

    Expressing concern over the bad health condition of the detained Serbs, Larsen said he had ordered the investigator to take into consideration the cases of the Serbs detained for minor offences, to forward them to legal advisers, and then to the international judge.

    Underscoring that the detained Serbs are a priority task of the UNMIK police, Larsen said a system of full security of the District Court had been established so that trials could begin.

    He said the police would do their utmost for the court proceedings to begin.

    Expressing hope that the situation of the detained Serbs was changing in favor of the requirements of justice and humanity, Balinovac said it would be seen in a few days if this would indeed be so.

    VOJISLAV KOSTUNICA AND HASIM THAQI GAVE WRITTEN OPINIONS ABOUT KOSOVO TO BETA AGENCY: OPPOSITE STANCES ABOUT KOSOVO STATUS

    (Blic daily, 27. 4. 2000)

    Belgrade - Hasim Thaqi president of the Party of Democratic Progress and co-president of the Provisional administrative council of Kosovo supports temporary settlement of Kosovo political status. Vojislav Kostunica president of the Democratic Party of Serbia, however, is of the opinion that the issue of future Kosovo status is issue of the future status of law.

    In authorized text for Beta agency site "Kosovo-on-line" Thaqi writes that Kosovo is presently at a crossroad and that it would be a mistake to slow down the "process of transformation" or to speed it up contrary to the political will of Kosovo citizens because that might put at risk "Kosovo fragile stability".

    "Therefore, as the most acceptable solution for Albanian interests, interests of the international community, interests of the Serbs and other minorities is temporary introduction of Kosovo political status that would be used as means for realization of the final aim of Kosovo citizens... This stance of mine should be understood by opposition in Serbia as indication for change of its stances about Kosovo if Serb opposition wants to be at distance when Milosevic`s regime is concerned. Otherwise, not only Kosovo Serbs, but Serb opposition as well, will become victims of one failed concept", Thaqi writes.

    He also points out that temporary status is not in line with the will of Kosovo citizens about Kosovo independence, but it is the best alternative in regard to situation without any status.

    Vojislav Kostunica is of the opinion that the issue of future Kosovo status is completely connected with the present real status, i.e. with the present status of human rights in Kosovo. Kostunica adds that in the past 10 years the international community, i.e. USA treated Kosovo problem exclusively from that point of view. Kostunica does not deny that "as in every authoritarian state" in Kosovo, too, there was violation of human rights. He, however, refers to numerous reports of various international organizations at the end of the last and beginning of this year /UN, OSCE, Human Rights Watch/ showing that even the worst examples of such violation are "minor in relation to the situation that occurred after bombing of Serbia and arrival of civilian international mission in Kosovo".

    Further to that Kostunica concludes that NATO and Americans have not come in Kosovo on account of human rights but "because they believe that the force they have gives them right to civil and military presence in Kosovo which is important part of the southern Balkans in the strategic point of view".

    Kostunica is of the opinion that the "idea of independent Kosovo is only another name for Big Albania". According to him solution for future Kosovo status has to be sought within UN Resolution 1244 which stipulates sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia and considerable autonomy of Kosovo.

    ECOLOGICAL AND HEALTH CHANGES WOULD BE MANIFESTED IN FOLLOWING DECADES

    (Danas/Digest, 27. 4. 2000)

    Belgrade Nada Sljapic, Yugoslav Minister for Sciences, Development and Ecology, said on international medical symposia that 78 industrial plants were damaged during NATO aggression, 2.600 liters of cancerous oil were poured out in Kragujevac and Bor. Ecological and health changes would be manifested in following decades, Sljapic emphasized. (*)

    WAR CRIME COURT IN KOSOVO

    (B2 - 92, 27. 4. 2000)

    Pristina, Wednesday The international administration in Kosovo is to establish a court for war crimes committed in the province. A senior official of the OSCE mission in Kosovo told Reuters today that the court would ease the pressure on an unstable local judiciary burdened with a rising crime rate, adding that the court would focus on crimes committed during 1998 and 1999.

    DEL PONTE REQUESTS VISA

    (B2 - 92, 27. 4. 2000)

    The Hague, Wednesday Hague Tribunal Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte has requested a visa to visit Yugoslavia, tribunal spokesman Paul Risley said today. Risley told Beta agency that del Ponte had applied for a visa two weeks ago for herself and her deputy, Graham Blewitt. The applications were lodged at the Yugoslav embassy in the Hague where the tribunal was told not to expect a reply.

    ALBERT ROAN VISITS KOSOVO

    (Danas/Digest, 27. 4. 2000)

    Vienna General secretary of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Albert Roan, will visit Kosovo. Roan will spend three days as a personal deputy of OSCE chairman for south-eastern Europe and will meet Kouchner and representatives of all Kosovo national communities. Aim of this working visit is "including of Serbs and other national minorities in international administration as well as their participation on local elections". (*)

    DJUKANOVIC GOES TO TIRANA

    (Blic daily, 27. 4. 2000)

    Podgorica - Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic accepted invitation of Albanian President Redzep Mejdani to visit Tirana. The invitation was handed to him by Albanian Foreign Minister Paskal Milo who recently visited Podgorica officially.

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