Page 805 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 805

ing withdrawal. So that one day someone could point to the failure of the peacekeeping forces and accuse them of failing to offer the Serbs necessary protection, and to the defeat of Western policy. The official media talk only about victory, about the peace that now reigns, about the pre- served integrity and sovereignty of the country and—about the restoration of the destroyed country (yesterday—the bridge near Beška).
But the German General also failed to keep yesterday’s promise. Last night the KLa and the people (albanians) celebrated their victory deep into the night with shooting, drums, song. The German patrols were nowhere to be seen in the city. They broke into many Serb houses “looking for weapons, threatening and forcing to leave.”
at about 11:00 o’clock a monk, father Hariton (Lukić) was kidnapped in the center of Prizren when he went with an automobile to take care of something. Five other Serbs were kidnapped in various locations in the city. Shooting and rushing through the city all day. The radio station and telephone lines were red hot from constant use. The re- maining Serbs gathered for the most part in the Seminary. We tried through Priština to obtain buses for evacuation the next day because we saw that there was nothing else we could. Bishop atanasije joined Father Miroslav. He also got involved. amfilohije also arrived in Sopoćani.
at 18:30 sisters Katarina, Magdalina and justina ar- rived with father Radivoje Panić with a British escort. They went to Holy Trinity. The monastery was COMPLeTeLY BURNeD... The brothers from Holy archangels and from Zočište Monastery went with them to Gračanica. at about 8:00 a.m. a KFOR officer arrived with two soldiers. We spoke for about two hours. in detail. about us, about Holy archangels Monastery, about the Seminary, about the peo- ple. He was very understanding, quiet, reasonable. He gave protection (for tonight) of the Bishop’s residence and the church of St. George, the Seminary. He heard from KLa leaders that their people would torch the church of St. George tonight. That is why he was giving us the protec- tion. i asked them to find Fr. Hariton through them. They did not succeed for tonight. i asked to meet tomorrow with the General. We agreed to meet at 8:00 a.m. in the Bishop’s residence. They said they had secured five buses for to- morrow for the people, as well as their own escort.
june 16 dawned. The German General arrived on sched- ule. i described the situation on the ground to him and the need to evacuate the people and ourselves from Prizren with the wish and hope that we would soon be able to re- turn. “That depends on you,” i said. He understood, ex- pressed his regret because of this and ordered the major to ensure a safe exit. We spent all day preparing. Telephone calls to Priština regarding the buses, to the people in Priz- ren, everyone gathered in the Seminary. The KFOR sol- diers covered the area from the Bishop’s residence to the Seminary. it was agreed that three of our people would stay in the Bishop’s residence. The major prepared a con-
tract on protection of the facilities: the Bishop’s residence with the church, the Seminary and Holy archangels Mon- astery with its staff.
The buses were quite late. They arrived at 4:45 p.m. With them Bishop atanasije, Hierodeacon Maksim, Fr. Stefan, Fr. antonije and Sister Katarina. The people got into the five buses and about 30 automobiles. The column headed in front of Sinan Pasha’s Mosque at exactly 6:00 p.m. Through ranks of albanians, KLa, children and adults gathered on either side shouting deafeningly: Thieves, thieves... Na- TO, NaTO... KLa, KLa... which had a very depressing and extremely humiliating effect. individual members of some 30 or so families stayed in Prizren. Security was strong and professional.
We arrived in front of the monastery in Gračanica at 8:45 p.m. The people in the buses and automobiles contin- ued on to Vranje. The monks, nuns and clergy stayed in Gračanica Monastery. We were welcomed by the clergy from Priština and vicinity and a few people. We learned new information from them about the suffering of the Serbs in various locations: Slovinje, Stojkovići near Uroševac, Nerodimlje... all this has resulted in uneasiness and un- rest among Serbs in the bigger Serb enclaves. Many are packing in Lipljan, Kosovo Polje, Obilić. alarmists (either sent or convinced) are going among the people and incit- ing them to move and sowing fear. The KFOR command is appealing that they staying, promising it will provide safety for all. i repeated by view and blessing: Serbs in bigger en- claves are to protect themselves until peacekeeping forces reestablish peace and order. They can and they must do this. inciting such units to move, frequently without rea- son or any direct danger, is pure treason...
and so on and so forth. Day after day, month after month, almost a year has passed. KFOR’s promises have not been kept. Serbs continue to suffer, they are murdered and kid- napped, churches and monasteries destroyed... But Serbs in the larger enclaves are subsisting, thanks only to the se- curity provided them by KFOR. We have stayed with our people. We have shared every evil with them because there has not been anything good. We have tried and continue to try to convince or force the international community to fulfill the responsibilities it has undertaken in UN Security Council Resolution 1244. The results are slim but we can- not do without them.
When the situation had somewhat stabilized, a need was felt for the Serb community in Kosovo and Metohija to act in unison in resolving all its problems and achieving better protection and safety for the people who remained in Kosovo, and in creating essential conditions for the re- turn of all those expelled from Kosovo and Metohija, both Serbs and other non-albanians. With this goal the thought and idea of creating the Serb National Council of Kosovo was born, which would act in unison throughout the entire territory of Kosovo and Metohija. Since the day of its found- ing the SNC has tried and is trying to carry out its role
The Suffering and Persecution in Kosovo and Metohija from 1945 to 2005

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