Page 766 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 766

Protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo B. jović
administration of the monastery are not exaggerated and i cannot renounce the claims i have made because i still havenotgonemad.
On april 3, 1968, i spoke about this with the president of the Commission for Religions from Priština Mr. Mus- tafa Hodža and secretary Golub Gojković. When asked how i was, i responded ’worse than in Turkish times and during the occupation. even in those times we lived in better con- ditions than during the past two years. During Turkish times the monastery abbot was escorted by Turkish sol- diers, while today i must take care that no one shoots from the side. Petitions do not help nor are they addressed in timely fashion. You came here, for example, to give me per- mission for cutting on april 3, while it ended on March 1. at that time i also explained to them about the violence of the albanians toward some Serb families, which i have al- so reported to you. They could not promise anything and instead tried to convince me and that’s how things ended. i informed the diocese executive Council of this with act No 42 from april 4, 1968.
Please be assured at all times that there is no hypocrisy on my side and that i can and dare to write what i say wher- ever the ax may fall.
i said that the state forest had suffered more than the monastery forest because there is more of it in the first place, and that they are guarding the monastery forest from each other in order to divide it among themselves and that despite this thefts occur daily.”
The Holy Synod of Bishops provided this conversation to the Federal Commission for Religious affairs with the request to form a mixed state-church commission to in- vestigate this matter, taking into account the significant differences in content between the report of the adminis- tration of Dečani Monastery with respect to the letter of the Federal Commission for Religions.”65
To this the Federal Commission for Religions replied (on November 11, 1968) as follows:
“In re: Your correspondence number 3475/zap. 620 from October 15, 1968.
We have again forwarded your correspondence under the number and date above relating to Visoki Dečani Mon- astery to competent officials of the Socialist Republic of Serbia. With our correspondence No 154 from May 29 this year, we informed you of the real situation with respect to Visoki Dečani Monastery. That is how we were able to give you a response with facts that we obtained from compe- tent officials who conducted the verification on the scene.
The Federal Commission for Religious affairs is not able to accept your proposal for forming a mixed state-religious commission that would investigate this and similar cases on the territory of the autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija.
65 AHSB, Syn No 3475/zap. 620, Oct. 15, 1968. 764
as soon as we receive a response from competent offi- cials in the Socialist Republic of Serbia, we will inform the SynodofBishopsregardingthismatterintimelyfashion.”66
By act No 41 from april 3, 1968, the administration of Dečani Monastery wrote directly to the Serbian Patriarch:
“Your Holiness,
it is my honor to report to Your Holiness regarding un- fortunate events in Kosovo and Metohija by the albanians toward the Serbs as follows:
it has been two years already that Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija have the feeling that unfortunately the slogan about ’Brotherhood and Unity’ has not moved from the starting point of its inception, and not by the fault of the Serbs but of the albanians who are again demonstrating their primordial hatred toward the Serb. We are in a more difficult situation that during the occupation, austrian and Turkish. Then we had at least some rights, while now it is as if we have lost everything. The appearance of violence, thefts in the middle of the day, insults and threats are an everyday occurrence.
You will certainly hear what all is being done in Kosovo and Metohija with the Serbs from others, too, because ev- erything is happening with lightning speed, and God only knows if we will not soon need another arsenije Crnojević for the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija!
My goal is to inform you of what is happening in the vicinity of Dečani Monastery. You already know of attempts by the locals of Dečani to take away the monastery forest on the basis of hearsay, and they may yet succeed because illegal acts are being carried out on all sides.
Here are several facts for your information:
a month ago albanians from Dečani seriously beat up forester Milivoj Lakićević just because he had filed com- plaints against some of them for the stealing of timber.
at the same time an albanian conductor stabbed a Serb bus driver seven times and seriously wounded him just be- cause he would not drive an overloaded bus as the alba- nians ordered him to do.
Recently in Labljani in Kosovo the anniversary of Skend- erbeg was celebrated in a Serb village. a Serb man asked why it was being celebrated in a Serb village and as a result he is laying in agony in Priština hospital.
a week ago an albanian from Ratiš (parish of Dečani) chased Stanica Pešić [a Serb woman] from her house and property. She has appealed to all possible authorities here without success.
The following families from Dečani had their land and forests usurped: Zarije Pavlović, Mirko Stevanović, Milo- rad joksimović, Blagota Nikčević, Milorad Djašić, Pavle Djašić and the abramović family from Drenovac. These people have no one to whom they can appeal and if they did, such an appeal would not help.
66 AHSB, Syn No 3475/zap. 620, Oct. 15, 1968.

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