Page 450 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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Bishop atanasije (jevtić)
mittee for Returns was formed. even though there have been examples in the meanwhile of organized Serbian re- turns, e.g., to Slivovo near Novo Brdo and the village of Grace near Vučitrn, this Committee has not made any great progress primarily due to the inability of international fac- tors to improve the security situation in the field. On the Serbian side the return of refugees has been and remains a priority that is strongly emphasized at every meeting. as well, the Church and the SNC have insisted on improve- ment of economic life in the enclaves. in other parts of the Province there have been smaller investments for the Serbs, too. However, we cannot fail to observe that international engagement on behalf of the Serbs remains inadequate and in essence does not create permanent prospects for life in the enclaves. Far more is being invested in the building of albanian houses and buildings (in three years over 40,000 albanian and one 100 Serbian houses have been renewed!).
Kosovo after the democratic changes in Serbia (October 5, 2000)
The change in the political situation in Serbia on October 5, 2000 by the general will and anger of the Serbian people and the departure of Milošević from power at first gave great hopes to the Serbian people in the Province but soon everyone confronted the reality that the state, after ten years of destruction, was not able to change the situation over- night. The albanians became impatient and thus violence intensified at the end of 2000 and the beginning of 2001, with parallel rebellions in the southern part of Serbia near Bujanovac and Preševo and lately in northern Macedonia as well (from Kumanovo to Tetovo where most of the Serbian population lives). These rebellions were actively supported, if not actually initiated, from Kosovo.
in February 2001 a series of attacks on civilian convoys occurred whose purpose was to introduce fear and insecu- rity into the Serbian enclaves. The most serious and great- est criminal attack occurred on February 14, 2001 in the village of Livadice between Merdare and Podujevo, when albanian terrorists blew up an entire bus with 56 Serbs on it that was being escorted by Swedish KFOR. in this trag- edy 11 Serbs lost their lives instantly, including two chil- dren. eventually the death toll climbed to 14 and an addi- tional almost 40 people sustained some degree of injury. Unfortunately, KFOR and UNMiK immediately covered up the real number of victims and spoke only of seven or eight dead.55
55 There is a detailed report regarding this unprecedented tragedy by atanasije, former Bishop of Zahumlje and Herzegovina, in the Diocese archive in Gračanica which uncovers the attempt of High Representative Haekkerup in Priština to cover up the number of Serbs killed in this albanian terrorist attack, even though it was immedi- ately known that 11 people died on the scene. UNMiK claimed that only seven were killed because less than 10 dead is considered a crime, whereas more than 10 is considered an act of terrorism. The U.S.
Since this attack, and especially since the intensifica- tion of conflicts in Preševo and Macedonia, a quick change in positions in the world has been observable. The alba- nians have less support because it is becoming obvious to the world that instead of creating a democratic and toler- ant society in Kosovo and Metohija, in essence it is ruled by the blackest of terrors, perhaps the worst in the entire history of this part of our country. The March 2001 report of the UNMiK police, published in fragments in some in- ternational media, reveals that Kosovo is ruled by 15 pow- erful clans-gangs controlled by powerful families and fishes engaged in drugs and weapons trading. From this informa- tion it follows that the entire albanian political structure, which is trying to simulate democratically elected bodies, is in fact only a reflection of the interests of the most pow- erful bosses of this crime-generating and deeply immoral society, in which honorable albanians themselves can see less and less hope for a better future. in august 2001 the first successful return of Serbs to the village of Osojane, istok municipality, took place. This project continued in the following year with the return of several dozen Serbian families to the nearby villages of Biča, Grabac and Tučep near Klina. These settlements, however, are condemned to life in complete isolation and live under the constant pro- tection of Spanish and italian KFOR troops.
in the summer of 2002 the Church in Kosovo and Me- tohija launched a campaign called Let Us Renew Our Holy Shrines through Prayer. as part of this campaign religious services were held in the destroyed monastery of the Holy Unmercenary Healers in Zočište on july 19, 2002 and in the village of Osojane on july 21. after services in the mon- astery of Zočište, local albanians first gathered to taunt the Serbian priests and monks during Divine Liturgy on the ruins, and then set fire to the remaining damaged mon- astery buildings. On this occasion the German KFOR com- mander made it clear that German troops would not en- sure conditions for the renewal of this monastery. On july 26, 2002 a great celebration was held on the feast of the Holy archangel Gabriel in the monastery of Holy archan- gels near Prizren in the presence of over one thousand Serbs who arrived in the monastery with a KFOR escort from various parts of the Province and central Serbia. During Divine Liturgy a detonation rang out on the hillside above the monastery; it was later discovered that nine kilograms of powerful explosives were found there which the alba- nians planned to detonate to bring the cliff down on the gathered Serbs and destroy the monastery. Because of the rain but mostly by the mercy of God and the Holy archan- gels, only a few hundred grams of the explosive detonated. Otherwise, the entire hillside with its great cliffs would have collapsed on the monastery courtyard where there were at the time about 1,000 faithful in addition to the Bishop and
administration also had a problem with recognizing the KLa as a terrorist organization because it collaborated with it.

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