Page 818 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 818

tion and this country. in other words, it will end up in a quiet, genocidal extermination which is so coolly being re- ferred to as the “moving of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo,”asifitwasatouristjaunt,ajourneyfromsouthto north, and not a nightmarish trek all over Serbia, with and without provinces! What country in the world, friendly or unfriendly, could forcibly expel and terrorize the Serbs, or any one of our peoples and nationalities, while we looked on coolly and wondered “who is responsible,” or said that “we are all responsible,” which means 110 one is responsi- ble? Outrage to one single human being on this earth causes a general outcry and stir in the world and within us. What about the yet unmeasured and immeasurable sufferings of 100,000 people who have emigrated, and another 250,000 men, women and children from Kosovo who have not moved; should they just be a subject of polemics in the press and on television? What is happening to us, to this community, what is happening to these proud patriarchal highlanders [the Kosovo albanians] whose children and men bum down churches, destroy cemeteries, oppress and kill their age-old neighbors?
God and our conscience are our witnesses, and our peo- ple are our witness and judge: we do not wish the alba- nians any harm: all we want is for our people and our holy shrines in Kos¬ovo to be preserved, for our sake and for their own sake. Because we know our calvary full well and we know our Kosovo pledge; we sincerely, to quote [Ser- bian nineteenth-century notable from Montenegro] Mar- ko Miljanov, “wish the albanian people everything of the best, God be our witness.” But out question is as follows: who among us dares, and in whose name, to allow Serbian Kosovo to see its tragic end and obliteration? Who dares to destroy our symbol and our existence? Who can assume responsibility before history of having Kosovo ethnically and spiritually lost during his time? No one but he who does not know what Kosovo is. it is not just Gračanica that is at stake; it is the plain, of Kosovo and its shrines as far afield as Peć and Dečani, that is strewn with bones and holy relics, the undisputable and most enduring title to a land until the people inhabiting that land lose their self- awareness and cease to be what they are.
One thing is obvious: if someone moves from what has always been his home, to which he remained faithful in his most trying moments, it means that he has felt himself threatened to the core of his being. Therefore, today’s situ- ation in Kosovo can be adequately described by the words of [former Serbian consul in Priština] Branislav Nušić, not- ed at the beginning of this [twentieth] century, during Ot- toman rule: “The Serbian population in Kosovo are feeling more and more isolated and abandoned...” Distressed and concerned by this fact, we the undersigned churchmen are doing what we can: we are expressing our solidarity with those who have been expelled from their and our centu- ries-old dwellings, and are raising our voice before our own and world opinion in defense of the most elementary hu-
man rights of the Kosovo population and of the threatened holy shrines of the Serbian people in their own homeland. We take the liberty of drawing this to the attention of the competent authorities and calling upon them to publicly and responsibly present the true reasons, and to re-exam- ine them conscientiously, for which the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija have felt unprotected and abandoned to a brutal persecution. We are doing so in a sincere desire to find just ways of solution and reason, to remove the seal of shame and permit a normal life for all of us in our com- mon home.
Signatories of this call for the protection of the Serbian population and their national shrines in Kosovo and Meto- hija, Serbian priests and monks:
On Good Friday 16/3 April 1982
1. atanasije jevtić—Belgrade
2. Ljubomir D. Ranković—Šabac
3. Ljubodrag V. Petrović—Belgrade
4. Pahomije Gačić—Monastery of Orahovica 5. Dušan Petrović—Novi Sad
6. Živko Todorović—Valjevo
7. amfilohije Radović—Belgrade 8. Raško Radović—Zemun
9. Ljubisav Kovačević—Tamnava
10. Damaskin Davidović—Prizren
This appeal was addressed to the Presidency of the SFRY, the Presidency of SR Serbia, the assembly of SR Serbia and the Holy Council of Bishops c/o the Holy Synod. The text was also sent to all the major Belgrade newspapers. The appeal was published in Pravoslavlje of May 15, 1982, the official journal of Serbian Orthodox Church as well. Many other priests and monks from Serbia (e.g. abbot Dositej of Žiča), Serbian clerics from Bosnia and other parts of Yugo- slavia, have wished to be signatories of this appeal.
Petition by 2,016 Serb Citizens of Kosovo (1985)
[The petition was eventually signed by more than 80.000 Serbs.]
We, the undersigned Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija, as victims of violence unprecedented in peacetime history in the cradle of our own fatherland, are making a last effort to protect in a legal manner* the right of our families to their lives.
The situation is appalling: a part of Yugoslavia, the land which is a part of our historical and national being, has been taken over, and fascist genocide against us, the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, has been legitimized. it is not a suitable opportunity nor is it possible to list the most evil misdeeds. The brutal pressure by Kosovo albanian chau- vinists against us and our families, farms, cemeteries and places of worship has been going on for decades. Unfortu- nately, whether intentionally or accidentally, it has been concealed and hushed up. Their open rebellion in 1981, de-

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