Page 803 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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has been looted or destroyed. Crimes against Serbs did not begin two weeks ago. A public statement regarding investi- gation of crimes against Serbs and other non-Albanians will prevent to a large degree further crimes and violence for which some extremist Albanians believe they will not be held accountable.
Fulfillment of these requests will sincerely encourage us in continuing with our further cooperation. if, however, albanian leaders, especially those from the KLa, continue to ignore or minimize crimes against the non-albanian population, especially the Serbs, and transfer all responsi- bility in general to the Serbs, we must say that we cannot participate and cooperate in any of the joint commissions foreseen in the last Statement.
Our desire to work together, despite sharp criticisms of the Milošević media and individual protests by some killed Kosovo Serbs, MUST NOT be understood as a green light for the continuation of crimes against our people and Church. if the albanian leadership not only fails to con- demn the most recent crimes but does not undertake obvi- ous steps to stop acts of terror and free the imprisoned and kidnapped Serbs, we will no longer be able to meet with them or work together.
We sincerely believe that you completely understand our views. We also wish to take this opportunity to express our deepest surprise by the fact that KFOR could tolerate such violence in the streets of Priština and the destruction of our two monuments. Hence, we expect this shortcom- ing to be corrected in the near future and that the monu- ments will be returned to their places.
Despite these most recent incidents, we must admit that we respect the efforts KFOR has invested during the last week. Operations in which KFOR soldiers have confis- cated significant quantities of weapons, arrested various criminals and in several cases prevented serious crimes demonstrate the sincere readiness of KFOR and UNMiK to continue working of the establishment of better security conditions for all communities in Kosovo and Metohija, and the full implementation of UN Security Council Reso- lution 1244, for which we are truly grateful.”137
The Year 2000
The Bishop of Raška and Prizren in his report to the Holy assembly of Bishops said the following:
“in the spirit of article 108 of the SPC Constitution, i am submitting to the Holy Synod of Bishops the annual report for the assembly on my work, situation and condi- tions in the Diocese of Raška and Prizren for the period from May 15, 1999, to May 16, 2000. This year’s report will not and cannot resemble our previous reports regularly submitted to the Holy assembly of Bishops every year be- cause of the completely different circumstances created for the Diocese of Raška and Prizren in the past year.
137 AHSB, Syn No 1101/zap. 601, July 5, 1999.
in the past year since the arrival of KFOR as interna- tional peacekeeping forces and UNMiK as the civil admin- istration of UC, the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija have suffered much persecution. The Yugoslav army and police has withdrawn from Kosovo, almost all official rep- resentatives have left from Kosovo, all intellectuals, physi- cians, professors... and a large number of our people (over two-thirds). Only the Serbian Orthodox Church with its clergy, monks and nuns has stayed with the remaining peo- ple (about 100,000). Mr. Momčilo Trajković also stayed with a few of his associates.
in the first days and months we invested a maximum of effort to stop the river of Serb refugees leaving from Koso- vo and Metohija, to keep the people despite all suffering and persecution, sacrifice and pressure.
it is impossible to include all events on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija in the past year in a report as suc- cinct as this. Therefore, we will try to accurately depict the very beginning of the unprecedented Golgotha of the Serb people immediately after the signing of the Kumanovo agreement on june 9, 1999.
On june 9 at 9:45 p.m. the Kumanovo betrayal of Koso- vo was signed. Pain and sorrow in the soul, sleeplessness in the eyes. in Belgrade—celebration! in Prizren—celebra- tion, shooting! a prayer springs forth: Lord, save our sens- es! The next day, at 3:00 p.m., orders were given to stop the NaTO aerial attacks. The Yugoslav army began its with- drawal at noon. Hundreds of military vehicles from Podu- jevo heading for Merdare. SR Yugoslavia president Slobo- dan Milošević addressed the Nation for the first time since the commencement of the bombing with a declaration of victory. On june 11 we visited Velika Hoča and Father Milen- ko. The people gathered. Bewildered, frightened. They ask what they should do but they are not prepared to listen. everyone is ready to leave. We go to Djakovica. The presi- dent of the Municipality is packed and ready to leave. and all the Serb people. it is the same in Peć, Dečani, Prizren, Mušutište. Probably elsewhere, too, but i have no direct knowledge. Columns of military vehicles on the road. On every side. and civilian ones, too: trucks, tractors, passenger vehicles. everywhere hopelessness, despair, the feeling that we have been betrayed and abandoned by our country.
The army and police are without hope. Without a clear decision and directions on what to do. General chaos. an- archy. Peć all in flames. it is impossible to breathe. Night is falling, with it uncertainty and fear enter under every roof and creep into every soul. The monks, nuns and clergy are still in their places. They place their hopes in God. The Church has remained clean, outside and above all the dirt- iness of this war.
The next day, june 12, we visited the monastery of the Holy Trinity near Mušutište. i served and gave commu- nion to the sisters. During Liturgy the priest from Mušu- tište, Fr. aleksandar Našpalić, arrived with three locals. They reported:
The Suffering and Persecution in Kosovo and Metohija from 1945 to 2005

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