Page 949 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 949

 in a particularly difficult situation are Serbs living in “multiethnic” areas such as Obilić and Vitina. in these ar- eas systematic pressures, attacks and murders have left the remaining Serbs without true prospect of normal life. ev- erywhere around the Province, institutions and settlements are decorated with flags of the Republic of albania and post- ers of adem jashari; monuments to new heroes from “the war of national liberation” are springing up everywhere, along with kitschy statues of new Kalashnikov-armed “al- banian heroes.” at the same time, Serb cemeteries are be- ing transformed into public garbage dumps and the ruins of destroyed churches are overgrown with weeds. every- where signs in the Serb language have been obliterated, and towns are being given new fangled names which have never existed before in history. History itself is being falsi- fied with the goal of creating a new artificial identity in or- der to destroy centuries of history and cultural develop- ment. Once known as the cradle of Orthodox Christianity, medieval churches and frescos, Kosovo now more resem- bles afghanistan.
UNMiK and its virtual reality
From UNMiK’s comfortable and well-protected headquar- ters one cannot see the Serb ghetto in Priština’s “YU Pro- gram” building, nor the forsaken Serb villages near Obilić where every day brings uncertainty and Serb children live in daily fear. From their virtual reality, well-paid interna- tional bureaucrats do not see the hospitals, schools, movie theaters and restaurants which have been inaccessible to Serbs for the past four years despite the presence of UN and NaTO forces. Nevertheless, the number of crimes is decreasing, proudly claim UNMiK officials. This claim is not incorrect but the statistics do not explain that this pos- itive trend is largely the consequence of the isolation of the Serb community in their protected enclaves. according to the distorted logic of some UNMiK officials the cities in which there are no Serbs are the safest and the most stable places in Kosovo. For example, the city of Peć was seen as such a place too. That is why half a year ago, international caretakers hurried to take a group of 50 elderly Serb pen- sioners from the neighbouring Serb enclave to that city to claim their pensions. Of course, they barely managed to get them out alive under a hail of Molotov cocktails and stones from the local albanians. “But how can this be?” surprised UNMiK officials asked themselves. “according to our assessments Peć is a safe city for Serbs; not a single Serbhasbeenkilledthereinthepasttwoyears.”Whatthey forget to take into account is that there are no more Serbs in Peć since the war. according to the same logic, the city is equally safe for inuit and Chinese. Statistics and real life differ considerably.
For many internationals in Priština the situation seems to be quite normal and they fail to notice that some coura- geous young Serbs, usually interpreters who work for UN-
KFOR checkpoint in front of Visoki Dečani Monastery
MiiK or OSCe, appear in public places exclusively using english and iD cards with international names to avoid risks. This has become so normal that certain internation- al offices regularly organize cultural events and presenta- tions with translation only in albanian since it is assumed that even if any Serbs dared attend such events they would naturally speak only english. The remaining Serb native residents of Priština who cannot buy bread normally in albanian shops and are not good at english do not have much choice but to stay in their homes. Such is the life in the city in which to be and to stay a Serb is an adventure.
Returns only on paper—Serbs forced to give up return
The second greatest failure of UNMiK is the lack of return of the Serb population. Only several hundred Serbs have been able to return to their homes, most of them elderly people whose names were first listed and carefully filtered by local albanian staff and KLa veterans. UNMiK’s in- flated figures of thousands of Serb returnees are inaccurate and refer to returnees of other at-risk communities, pri- marily Roma. Frequently even those who come to visit their relatives from Serbia are registered as returnees while those who leave Kosovo and Metohija in the meanwhile are not. Despite all efforts and programs, the returnee villages of Osojane and Biča near istok continue to live under siege,
Bishop Teodosije and Abbot Sava with KFOR officers at Visoki Dečani Monastery
Chaos and Disorder

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