Page 802 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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Protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo B. jović
ština, has clearly shown that the real goal of albanian po- litical leaders is apparently not a democratic and multieth- nic Kosovo but rather an ethnically cleansed region where everything that belongs to the Serb people is despised and exposed to destruction and humiliation.
The night of july 2–3, in the very center of the city of Priština, monuments to Vuk Karadžić and Njegoš (well known Serbian writers) were destroyed. The toppled stat- ues were pulled with tractors through the city while the frenzied albanian masses shouted and spat at them. at the same time throughout the city and its vicinity, one could hear a great deal of shooting from firearms of various cali- bers as if a real war had broken out. Such a provocative use of firearms, which is in direct violation of the recent agree- ment between KFOR and the KLa [Kosovo Liberation army], clearly shows that the international community worked only toward forcing Serbian troops to withdraw while, on the other hands hundreds of gangs were allowed to return to Kosovo with new weapons ready to sow death and destruction against all non-albanians.
it is unnecessary to talk about the symbolic and psy- chological meaning of the destruction of these two monu- ments for our people. Their destruction is a clear message to Serbs that there is no room for them or their culture in Kosovo. Unfortunately, Priština is not the only example. a few days ago monuments to the Serbian medieval ruler emperor Uroš in the city of Uroševac was destroyed, while monuments to emperor Dušan and consul jastrebov were also desecrated and destroyed. Throughout Kosovo every- thing that belongs to the Serb people has been exposed to merciless destruction. in fact, with the number of horrible murders, robberies, expulsions, rapes, torchings of homes, we are also experiencing the culturecide of our people.
We have confidential information that the head of the celebration and disturbances in Priština was none other than Mr. Hasim Thaci, the KLa leader, who only hours before had signed a joint Statement where he agreed to appeal to his people to refrain from violence and live in peace with their neighbors. However, only a few hours later the albanian masses, inflamed by nationalism and ethnic hatred, ’celebrated’ their freedom by torching several more Serb homes in Priština and the destruction of Serbian cul- tural heritage.
But that’s not all. The albanian leaders not only failed to openly address their people in accordance with the joint agreement but crimes against Serbs have continued with even greater intensity. all Serbs from the village of Orlovac near Priština were forced to leave their homes (41 families). Several Serbs have been abducted. Yesterday the Djordjević family in Gnjilanska Street in Priština was attacked by a group of armed albanians. Miroslav Djordjević as seri- ously wounded and underwent 3 1/2 hours of surgery in the hospital. Ratko Djordjević, his brother, was beaten up and wounded in the leg. The family was ultimately forced to leave its home.
We have just received a report from the Gnjilane rea- son where not far from Vitina the monastery of Binča has been desecrated and burned to the ground. Monks from the monastery were forced to leave and barely managed to save their own lives. Serb Milan Ljušić was kidnapped yes- terday afternoon from the courtyard of Gorioč Monastery by three armed albanians with KLa insignia and the sis- ters were threatened to leave or told they would be slaugh- tered. according to reports from the field five burned Serb bodies have been found in istok whose identity has yet to be established.
Gentlemen, our delegation has made an important step forward in the direction of peaceful existence by all na- tional communities and restoration of peace and stability in Kosovo. We have clearly condemned crimes committed by the Milošević regime and even made such a compro- mise that crimes against Serbs were not separately men- tioned in our Statement with the Kosovo albanians, in or- der to protect human lives and prevent new crimes. We believe that we have thus shown a more than the sincere readiness and desire to continue cooperating. However, we will not continue to do so under any kind of conditions. Therefore, we most strongly demand from UNMiK and KFOR:
- to publicly condemn the violence that occurred dur- ing the course of the albanian ’celebration’ two days ago;
- to energetically demand from Kosovo albanian lead- ers, especially Mr. Thaci, public distancing from the most recent violence and that they openly address their people and call on them to live in peace and tolerance. Words with- out action have no meaning. The authority Mr. Thaci has among the albanian people makes him very accountable for both their present and future behavior;
- that the monuments destroyed in Priština be returned to their places as soon as possible and that you insist that the same be done in Uroševac and Prizren. KFOR must not give carte blanche to the unobstructed destruction of the Serbian cultural heritage. The albanians can build their own monuments but they cannot destroy what belongs to other communities and cultures;
- that they call on representatives of the KLa to ur- gently provide detailed information about all Serbs who have been arrested or kidnapped by the members of this organization. We have clear evidence that camps for Serbs still exist in Kosovo. Who is running them and how long they will continue to exist are questions that need to be answered by KFOR representatives. Crimes that have been committed by various albanian armed formations against Kosovo Serbs must be investigated in detail by the interna- tional Criminal Tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia (iCTY), not by local Kosovo courts. We must have in mind that during the course of the last two years many Serb civilians have been killed by the KLa, many have been kidnapped, all Serbs who lived on territory under albanian control have been completely expelled from their homes and their property

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