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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, August 17, 2000

  • Representatives of Norwegian government and Helsinki Committee in Gracanica
  • Rada Trajkovic: Dr. Milan Ivanovic is not telling the truth
  • REPRESENTATIVES OF NORWEGIAN GOVERNMENT AND HELSINKI COMMITTEE IN GRACANICA

    Today in Gracanica Monastery, Protosyncellus Sava, acting on behalf of Episcope Artemije, received a Norwegian delegation headed by Ms. Helen Dahl Hansen, the representative of the Norwegian government in Pristina and the representative of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. Protosyncellus Sava acquainted the guests from Norway with the positions of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija with regard to the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, emphasizing that the Serbs who support the moderate and democratic option, as well as cooperation with the international UN mission, are under pressure from both Albanian extremism and terrorism which is continuing in violence and attacks against Serbs, on the one hand, as well as the regime and radically predisposed Serbian organizations who are doing everything possible to ensure the failure of the international mission, on the other. Protosyncellus Sava appealed to the Norwegians, who by next summer are expected to provide the new KFOR commander, to undertake all possible measures to stop the violence and convince Albanian political leaders that democracy and progress cannot be constructed on discrimination against the non-Albanian population. The secretary of Bishop Artemije also expressed regret because a significant part of the Serb population in Kosovo continues to be manipulated both by the regime and by individual "Serbian democratic" leaders who are not directing the cutting edge of their activities against Albanian extremism and the battle for the protection of their people but to race to see who can heap more abuse and insults on Bishop Artemije and the SNC.

    The representative of the SNC concluded by saying that the absolute prerequisite for the development of a truly democratic and constructive option among the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija is the urgent need for improvement on the Albanian political scene, as well as a change of the Belgrade regime. Until these two basic prerequisites are met, the majority of the residents of the Province will remain under the influence of radical and extremists tendencies on both sides which are unprepared for dialog and a common life which, viewed from a long-term perspective, may lead to the complete departure of the Serbs from this region.

    RADA TRAJKOVIC: DR. MILAN IVANOVIC IS NOT TELLING THE TRUTH

    Commenting on yesterday's speech by Dr. Milan Ivanovic, one of the leaders of the SNC of Mitrovica, at a protest gathering in Zvecan and his statement which was broadcast several times by the Belgrade media controlled by the regime (especially by Radio Television Serbia during the main news program), the Information Service of the SNC received first-hand the following statement by Dr. Rada Trajkovic, the Serb representative in the Interim Administrative Council and surgeon in the Serb "Simonida" Medical Clinic in Gracanica.

    "In front of a mass of people gathered in Zvecan, Dr. Ivanovic verbally attacked Father Sava and me in the most vulgar manner, showing that the SNC of Mitrovica continues to base its platform on the destruction of the platform of the SNC of Kosovo and Metohija and the unity of the Serb people and the Church. He said that I almost personally approved the takeover of Trepca even though I have always advocated within the Interim Administrative Council that the issue of Trepca, which is of strategic importance to the state, be resolved with relevant state organs of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. I must admit that now I am sorry that I asked for this because I see that Milosevic has literally sold Trepca to UNMIK and that this is doubly in his interest. On the one hand, he got money, while providing Kouchner with new, freshly printed dinars which the UNMIK chief promptly distributed to workers; on the other hand, he organized through his people in Mitrovica a whole propaganda show in which the UN mission is condemned for the takeover of the Trepca complex. The sad thing is that in this game the role of the fist of the regime against the UN mission and the SNC of Kosovo and Metohija (which is blameless in the entire matter) is played by the Mitrovica leaders and the Serbian Resistance Movement."

    "In addition to this, I must refute Dr. Ivanovic as a physician and a colleague from the professional perspective. Milan Ivanovic, as a physician of the hospital in Mitrovica, openly stated that to date no one has fallen ill as a result of the pollution in Zvecan and, together with Marko Jaksic, accused the UN mission of making up the pollution problem as an excuse for the shutdown of the lead smelter in Zvecan. As a specialized physician and professor of the Faculty of Medicine in Pristina, I participated in research regarding environmental pollution in the region of Zvecan and Mitrovica, and can state authoritatively that the statement of Dr. Ivanovic is a blatant lie. The pollution problem existed even prior to the war; the regime which exploited Trepca did not move a finger to invest money in the technological enhancement of the filtration system to prevent environmental pollution and the poisoning of the population. This is not a justification of everything which recently occurred and is occurring in the vicinity of Trepca but I can readily say that this is yet another of Milosevic 'deal' in which some of the people in Mitrovica are playing a role."

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