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The Information Service of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija

Daily press briefing of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija

Gracanica, October 12, 2000

  • Meeting with representatives of the SNC of Mitrovica
  • Father Sava talks with Dr. Bernard Kouchner
  • Concern of the SNC due to aggressive behavior of the Serbian Resistance Movement (SPOT)
  • Dr. Rada Trajkovic in Belgrade
  • SNC delegation visits Gnjilane region
  • Internet Center opens in Gracanica
  • MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SNC OF MITROVICA

    Today in Pristina the representative of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija, Protosyncellus Sava Janjic, spoke with the highest representatives of the Serb National Council of Mitrovica: Mr. Oliver Ivanovic, Mr. Vuko Antonijevic, Mr. Marko Jaksic and Mr. Nikola Kabasic. The meeting took place in the UNMIK building immediately following a discussion of the delegation from Mitrovica with the head of UNMIK, Dr. Bernard Kouchner.

    During the talks, which took place in a sincere and friendly atmosphere, it was agreed to organize as soon as possible a meeting of representatives of all Serb democratic forces in the Province in order to construct a joint Serb platform for Kosovo and Metohija in light of the most recent changes in Belgrade. By the victory of democratic forces in Belgrade conditions have been created for Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija to act on the realization of their political and national program with the full cooperation and coordination of the democratic government which will with full authority represent state interests and fight for the endangered rights of its citizens. That is why the priority task is for Kosovo Serbs to act in unison and to transcend their previous disagreements through compromise, emphasized Father Sava for which the representatives of the SNC of Mitrovica also expressed their support.

    It is the firm position of the SNC that the political activity of the Kosovo Serbs should be based on willingness to cooperate with the international UN mission and democratic forces of Kosovo Albanians only if all parties in the dialog firmly adhere to the provisions of Resolution 1244, which foresees the construction of temporary democratic institutions in the province with full respect for the sovereignty of FRY.

    Since it is of great importance that the voice of the Serbs be heard as clearly and loudly as possible, especially today when the entire world expects a democratic and more constructive approach to the resolution of the Kosovo problem from the Serb side, the SNC believes that it would be of great importance to have representatives from northern Kosovo participate in the work of the Interim Administrative Council of Kosovo as soon as possible.

    At the present time the SNC of Mitrovica is participating in the work of the Joint Committee on Returns to which Mr. Oliver Ivanovic is making a very constructive contribution.

    FATHER SAVA TALKS WITH BERNARD KOUCHNER

    After the meeting with representatives of the SNC of Mitrovica, the representative of the SNC of Kosovo and Metohija, Father Sava, met with Dr. Bernard Kouchner and his closest associates. The meeting was held in preparation for tomorrow’s session of the Interim Administrative Council of Kosovo at which the situation in Kosovo and Metohija in light of the democratic changes in Belgrade will be discussed.

    Protosyncellus Sava repeated the firm position of the SNC that the aggressive Albanian insistence of independence prior to beginning any kind of political dialog with democratic representatives of the government in Belgrade is very detrimental to the political process and entire security situation in the Balkans. Political dialog between the Kosovo Albanians and Serbs will be possible only if the Albanian side as well fully acknowledges the authority of UN Resolution 1244 and the fact that the task of the UN Mission in Kosovo is to create political institutions for the substantial autonomy of Kosovo and Metohija within the framework of FRY. Serb representatives will not be able to actively participate in the construction of Kosovo institutions if their goal is a priori the secession of Kosovo and Metohija from FRY and Serbia, and if the ethnic discrimination and acts of terror by the Albanian community against the Serbs and other minority communities in the Provinces continues. Conditions for constructive political dialog, which was not possible during the dictatorial rule of Slobodan Milosevic, have now been created, emphasized the representative of the SNC.

    On the other hand, it is the clear position of SNC that the past policies of Belgrade toward Kosovo, especially the behavior of the former regime during the war, must be reviewed openly and critically so that the new government can affirm its moral credibility in the defense of state sovereignty and the endangered rights of its citizens. The SNC has previously very strongly condemned the crimes of representatives of the Milosevic regime which the Kosovo Serbs have been paying for more than a year with their lives. It is especially important that the issue of missing persons is approached in a constructive manner. However, it is unacceptable that only the issue of Albanian prisoners is addressed while in Kosovo nothing concrete is being done toward the finding and freeing of more than 1,200 kidnapped and missing Serbs in the post-war period.

    CONCERN OF THE SNC DUE TO AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR OF THE SERBIAN RESISTANCE MOVEMENT (SPOT)

    The SNC expresses its concern and regret at the behavior of Momcilo Trajkovic and Slavisa Kostic, who continue their thoughtless attacks on the SNC and Bishop Artemije using the recent rhetorics of the Socialist Party of Serbia and the Yugoslav United Left. This kind of behavior and rhetorics is inappropriate to members of the united opposition and is seriously compromising the democratic option of the Resistance Movement and introducing unnecessary discord and disagreements among Kosovo-Metohija Serbs. Attacks on Bishop Artemije, who two days ago received support from President Kostunica personally for his work and the role of the Church, represent a knife in the back of the Serbian democratic opposition which Bishop Artemije has actively supported throughout the years. The SNC will not respond to the insinuations and lies of the representatives of SPOT as it is the firm belief of the SNC that at this moment the Serb people need words of wisdom, unity and reconciliation, not of revenge and hate.

    DR. RADA TRAJKOVIC IN BELGRADE

    Dr. Rada Trajkovic, vice-president of the Democratic Christian Party of Serbia and representative of the SNC in the IAC is presently visiting Belgrade. In the past few days Dr. Trajkovic held several meetings with senior representatives of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia with whom she discussed ways of resolving problems in Kosovo and Metohija.

    SNC DELEGATION VISITS GNJILANE REGION

    Today a SNC delegation headed by Mr. Dusan Ristic, the president of the executive board, and Dragan Velic, the president of the SNC of Central Kosovo, visited the Gnjilane region and held a meeting with representatives of the Council in this region. Topics of discussion included the need for opening new community offices with the goal of establishing better living conditions for our people.

    INTERNET CENTER OPENS IN GRACANICA

    An Internet Center opened by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a non-governmental organization, began work in Gracanica. The Center is presently located next to the elementary and secondary school in Gracanica and is working under the direction of Srdjan Kujundzic. Currently the Center offers Internet users the use of five computers hooked up to the Internet by satellite link. The Center will provide Internet access free of charge and classes in Internet and computer use will be organized in the future. The Center was opened through a joint initiative of the SPC and IOM, which has already opened several similar Internet Centers throughout Kosovo.

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