28 July 2006

Accounts of the Horror of WWII and Post 1999

Serbs and Jews
While talking about the horrors of the Holocaust, Jewish literature tends to be ethnocentric. It is understandable to a certain degree. Still, when talking about suffering in Yugoslavia, all of the literature talks with one voice about "Serbs and Jews"... For Jews and Serbs the destiny was the same.
"Encyclopedia of The Holocaust" In many volumes of this book one can find many references on suffering of Serbs and Jews in Yugoslavia. Just look for: Croatia, Serbia, Jasenovac, Pavelic, Hussein al-, ... In the chapter on Croatia it says: "THE USTASHA REGIME IN CROATIA, AND PARTICULARLY THIS DRIVE IN THE SUMMER OF 1941 TO EXTERMINATE AND DISPOSSESS THE SERBS, WAS ONE OF THE MOST HORRENDOUS EPISODES OF WORLD WAR II . THE MURDER METHODS APPLIED BY THE USTASHA WERE EXTRAORDINARILY PRIMITIVE AND SADISTIC."
(Professor) Martin Gilbert: "The Holocaust" This historian, the official biographer of Winston Churchill says: "in Yugoslavia, Hitler had an ideological and physical ally in the Croat Ustashi movement..."
(Professor) Helen Fein: "Accounting for Genocide" This renowned historian says:"[Already] by June 1941, signs on public establishments [in Nazi Independent State of Croatia] read, NO SERBS, JEWS, NOMADS, AND DOGS ALLOWED. She clearly states:"...Nonpartisan sources agree that mass genocide was authorized by the state of Croatia. They concur the state instigated, planned, and executed masses against the Serbian Orthodox minority ...and that the Catholic clergy approved, led, or failed to denounce these massacres."
(Professor) Raul Hilberg: "The Destruction of the European Jews" This is probably the best known book on the Jewish holocaust. It consists of two large volumes.Briefly, this is what Dr. Hilberg says: Since April 1941, Serbia was under German occupation. But proud Serbs could never stand oppression. Soon they started uprising. Unlike anywhere else in occupied Europe, angry Nazi Germans invented 1:100 formula. For every German soldier killed 100 civilian hostages would be executed. Jewish male population was first among the hostages. Croatian Ustashi then finished (by use of gas vans) Jewish women and children of Serbia. This is how German Nazi commander of occupied Serbia could brag that "Jewish question in Serbia was solved".In Fascist-Catholic Independent State of Croatia, Croat fascists eagerly and bestially exterminate Serbs (in the first place), Jews and Gypsies. Not only did Nazi Croats surpassed Nazi Germans and Fascist Italians - they shocked them with the bestial methods they implemented. It was Fascist Italians that tried to stop Ustashi bloody bacchanalia.

Serbs Escape Lynch in Kosovo Village

source: FOCUS News AgencySunday, 16 July 2006

Serbs who visited their property in the Kosovo village of Srbobran were lucky to escape after they were attacked by Albanians residing in the village, Serbian newspaper Politika reads today. The Serbs were made to leave the village in order to escape the clash with the group of Albanians. Only a few days ago Albanians robbed a house which was being built for a returning Serb, after which they set fire to it. Meanwhile the work on five of the 59 Serbian houses, which existed in the village before 1999, is almost finished.

27 July 2006

Albanians Told To Consider the Rights of Orthodox Christian Serbs

27 July 2006

Why is America so hard-hearted against the Serbs?

Folks may not not be aware that the history of the Serbian peoples are being distorted by renovationist historians who forget that the current victims in Serbia/Kosovo-Metohija are descendents of the Serbs that survived brutal persecution during WWII. The current oppressors are also descendents of the oppressors of that time as well. Maybe we should look upon them as victims. They are victims of the lies that they believe and maintain concerning the past they try to erase, they are victims of the misinformation that they give to the world, painting themselves as modern day revolutionists styled after the colonies of the American succession from Britain; yet there is no true comparison, just a draping of oneself into a language that helps the wolves to justify their involvement in a situation as the Albanians sell every resource they have to those who promise to them independence.
In the summer of 1941, Hitler, enraged because Belgrade refused to align itself with the Axis powers; postponed his intentions concerning Russians and determined to exterminate from the face of the earth all Christians Serbs, along with the Jews and Gypsies that he was annihilating. Dachnau was a concentration camp that saw the death of many Christian Serbs. Eyewitness accounts include St. Nikolai Velimirovic. He was a prisoner. When Hitler finally turned his attention to Russia, more than 2 million Serbs had been cleansed from the face of the earth. But that sacrifice brought on the defeat of Germany, for when its forces were invading Moscow, severe winter forced the the retreat of the Third Reich. Historians, according to sources on TSERKOVOST.org have deemed this defeat by Russia and its winter the turning point of WWII. Since the time of the conquest of Serbia by the Ottoman Empire up to and beyound the alliance of the Young Turks and the Nazi Regime (the Utaashi led by Ante Pavelic) the Christian Serb population have lived by law and by societal customs as second class citizens subjected to the same indignities as Chinese, African , Mexican and Native-americans during different periods of United States history. Even such ethnic groups such as Italians and Irish have had to endure second class citizen treatment at the hands of the country that offered solace for the weary. The Christian Serbian population has suffered these indignities in horrific degrees for 600 years and this is why Serbia is doing all it can to protect the now minority population of Serbs in Kosovo:

Kosovo Albanians urged to improve rights of Christians
July 27, 2006 7:51 AM
PRISTINA, Serbia-The U.S. envoy to the Kosovo status talks on Thursday urged ethnic Albanian and Serbian leaders to intensify efforts to improve the rights of the province's Serb minority.
During a visit to Kosovo, U.S. diplomat Frank Wisner said the two former foes need "to put in place a common vision, a practical and a realistic solution to the way forward for Kosovo."
Wisner met with the province's ethnic Albanian leaders a day after he appealed to Serbia's leadership for flexibility and compromise in resolving the dispute over the breakaway province.
Ethnic Albanian and Serbian leaders met in Vienna, Austria, on Monday for the first face-to-face talks over Kosovo's status.
There was no breakthrough in those talks, with both sides entrenched in their positions, the Serbs want Kosovo to remain within its borders, while the ethnic Albanians insist on independence.
"The job ahead of us today is to put in place the necessary elements of a final status package before we define the package," Wisner said. "That means realistic solutions to the outstanding issues of municipalities, churches, minorities and economics."
He also reiterated that Western countries supervising the process aim to resolve the province's status by the end of the year.
Most of the discussions since talks began have failed to produce a concensus.
The next round of talks is Aug. 7-8 and will deal with local reform and minority rights, a U.N. official said.
Kosovo has been run by United Nations and patrolled by NATO since mid-1999 when alliance's air war halted a Serb crackdown on separatist ethnic Albanians and forced Serbia to relinquish control over it.
Some form of independence for Kosovo is the most likely outcome of the talks, but Western envoys are trying to steer the two sides toward improving the rights of the province's Serb minority, who live in guarded enclaves.

27th July 2006

Today I'm sharing with you from the Kosovo.net website--a very informative site of the atrocities sustained by the Serbian population, and often times where one can only get such information. The American Council for Kososvo is another good site.

KiM Info Newsletter 24-07-06

Memorial service for victims of
the "Harvest Massacre" in 1999

LIPLJAN, July 23, 2006 (Beta news agency, Belgrade)
A memorial service today in the center of Staro Gracko near Lipljan in the presence of relatives and citizens for the fourteen Serbian villagers who were killed on today's date seven years ago while in the field harvesting their crops.
Local priest Srdjan Milenkovic recalled the public promise made by then UNMIK chief Bernard Kouchner that "no stone would go unturned" to find the perpetrators of this crime, and he called on UNMIK and KFOR to finally live up to that promise.
The memorial service for the fourteen harvesters for Staro Gracko was not held at the local cemetery, located approximately one and a half kilometers from the village next to the Lipljan-Stimlje road, for security reasons.
Namely, while cleaning up the cemetery recently on the occasion of Memorial Saturday, locals found land mines there and since then they have heeded KFOR's warning not go to the cemetery, where several dozen gravestones have also been destroyed.

Names of the slain Serb harvesters in Staro Gracko on a memorial plate on the village school
Victims of Albanian terror during the harvest of July 1999

Bozidar D. Djekic (born 1947)
Stanimir M. Djekic (1955)
Radovan I. Zivic (1967)
Jovica I. Zivic (1970)
Mile Dj. Janicijevic (1957)
Momcilo Dj. Janicijevic (1946)
Novica M. Janicijevic (1981)
Slobodan C. Janicijevic (1965)
Milovan C. Jovanovic (1969)
Andrija M. Odalovic (1967)
Nikola V. Stojanovic (1936)
Miodrag M. Tepsic (1951)
Ljubisa D. Cvejic (1939)
Sasa J. Cvejic (1973)

26 July 2006

Successful Talks and The Importance of Keeping The Minutes

Glory Be To God on this day of the Holy Synaxis of the Holy Archangel Gabriel.

"Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thous shalt glorify me." (KJV Psalms 50:14-15)

"And Jethro said, Blessed be the Lord, who hath delivered you out of thehand of the Egyptians, and out of thehand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.
"Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods; for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them." (KJV Exodus 18:10-11)
"The earthly kingdom last only for a brief time, But the heavenly kingdom always and forever" Tsar Lazar

Strong arguments by Serbian team in negotiations on future status of Kosovo-Metohija

Belgrade, July 26, 2006 – Advisor to the Serbian Prime Minister Vladeta Jankovic said last night that the Serbian side presented strong arguments and had the upper hand in the top level negotiations on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija between Belgrade and Pristina, held in Vienna on Monday.

Jankovic said for the Radio Television Serbia that unlike the ethnic-Albanian side, which kept talking of independence as the only possible solution, the Serbian side had rational and strong arguments on reasons why independence would be bad not only for the region but the entire world. The Serbian side based their arguments on international law and acts which guarantee sovereignty and territorial integrity of internationally recognised states, which include Serbia, and also that seizure of 15% of a country’s territory would set a dangerous precedent for the region, and the world. The arguments presented by Belgrade were not challenged by any of the international representatives, stressed Jankovic, and added that the pace of talks is accelerating, which means that in August there will be a series of meetings between negotiating teams. Jankovic said that the international community fears aggression by ethnic-Albanians, adding that political surrender to threats of aggression does not pay off.

The Serbian side made it clear in talks that it does not consider aggression an option, said Jankovic, and stressed that Serbia possesses the state and demographic potential not to allow the seizure of part of its territory without arguments and justification.According to Jankovic, the Serbian side has entered the fight for Kosovo-Metohija with full diplomatic potential and will be able to say that it did everything within its power to keep the province within Serbian borders. Advisor to the

Serbian President Dusan Batakovic said on the occasion that negotiations held day before yesterday on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija were important, because during the previous six months only those issues were discussed which were not related to status. Batakovic said that the ethnic-Albanian side tied up a lot to post-status time until now, adding that it was important to enter talks on status, besides all other questions which are important for the further course of talks, such as decentralisation, protection of cultural heritage etc.

According to Batakovic, it would be cynical to assert that Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija are a minority, and not to say that this is a result of ethnic cleansing. Jankovic and Batakovic said that in previous negotiations held in Vienna minutes were not kept, but on insistence by the Serbian side, a written record is being kept since day before yesterday.They pointed out that keeping minutes is important to counter any attempt at manipulation during talks, and they have importance as documents as well so that the Serbian parliament and people can be informed precisely who said what, at which time and in which manner, regarding the issue of Kosovo-Metohija.
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Kosovo-Metohija Negotiating Team To Meet on 28th July

Negotiating team for Kosovo-Metohija to meet on July 28

Belgrade, July 26, 2006 – Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, who is also co-president of the negotiating team for Kosovo-Metohija status talks, has called a meeting of the negotiating team for July 28.
The meeting will focus on first round of negotiations that took place in Vienna as well as defining further activities of the team.

Albanian President Fatmir Sejdiu claims Independence is "alpha and omega"

Summit on Kosovo ends in deadlock Ian Traynor in ZagrebTuesday July 25, 2006The Guardian
For the first time since going to war eight years ago, the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo sat down together yesterday to try to hammer out a settlement for the contested southern Balkan province.
But the Vienna summit of Serbian and Kosovo prime ministers and presidents, mediated by the UN envoy and former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, merely underlined the starkly opposing positions on the issue of Kosovo's independence. "The sides are quite apart," he said at the end of the one-day summit.

Please go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/Kosovo/Story/0,,1828048,00.html to finish reading this article. The alpha and omega statement is within it.

Albanian-UNMIK illegal privatization of Serbian Assets

Belgrade calls for an end to privatization process in Kosova
25.07.2006 ET Prishtina (KosovaLive)
UNMIK Pillar IV representatives, on Monday have cleared to the Serbian delegation about the talks for the economic issues, that the process of privatization of the public enterprises in Kosova, will continue even if Serbian party consider this illegal.

the American Council for Kosovo

Synaxis of the Holy Archangel Gabriel; St. Stephen of St. Sabbas' Monastery (794)

26 July 2006

About American Council for Kosovo
About Council
Advisory Board
Council Officers The American Council for Kosovo is a U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a better American understanding of the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija and of the critical American stake in the province's future. The Council's mission is to make accurate information and analysis about Kosovo available to officials of the Executive and Legislative branches of the U.S. Government; to think tanks, media, NGOs, religious and advocacy organizations; and to the general public. In particular, the Council’s educational activities will generate a heightened American awareness that an independent Kosovo – forcibly and illegally detached from Serbia, as is now being contemplated by the international community – would be harmful to U.S. national interests and to European and global security.Since the 1999 war against Serbia, the province of Kosovo has been under United Nations administration and NATO military control. Seven years later, Kosovo is just as lawless and unstable as it was when the international administration began. Criminal and jihad terrorist elements of the supposedly disbanded “Kosovo Liberation Army" (KLA) dominate the province’s civil administration (under U.N. authority) and maintain a reign of terror over Kosovo’s still-dwindling Christian Serb population. Churches and monasteries that have not already been desecrated, blown up, or burned by mobs of Muslim Albanians exist under tenuous protection from NATO. Kosovo remains Europe’s black hole of organized crime activities – drugs (heroin derived from Afghan opium), sex slaves, weapons – and the criminal gateway to the rest of the continent. Even more dangerously, of major KLA figures have documented links to of jihad terrorist sponsors such as the government of Iran and al-Qaeda – including to Osama bin Laden personally. Personnel, money, and explosives tied to terrorist actions in Europe have been traced back to Kosovo. (See of Kosovo: Questions and Answers.)Incredibly, elements of the international community – including some sectors of the U.S. government and important voices in Congress – have accepted the idea that the only “solution" for Kosovo is to detach it formally from Serbia and to make it an independent state. This would mean officially handing power to the criminal and jihad terrorist KLA leadership, who would then be empowered as a “sovereign" government. The terrorist and organized crime menace emanating from Kosovo would increase. The last Christian Serb elements (and all other non-Albanians, such as the Roma) would be eradicated. Kosovo independence also would violate every principle of the international system by forcibly and illegally detaching Kosovo from a recognized state, Serbia, to which the government of that country justifiably insists it will not agree.It is the position of the American Council for Kosovo that the United States must not support a misguided course of detaching Kosovo from Serbia to create an independent Muslim Albanian state dominated by terrorist and criminal elements. Doing so would –Lead to the elimination of the remaining Christian Serb population;Strengthen global jihad terrorism and organized crime; and Fatally undermine the rule of law in international affairs.This outcome is not inevitable: Kosovo independence and the creation of an independent state controlled by criminals and terrorists would require the United States to ram it through the Contact Group (the U.S., the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia) and the United Nations Security Council. But that is what may happen unless this misguided agenda is reconsidered very soon. The Council believes that a reconsideration can and will occur if accurate information and analysis is made available to the American government and people regarding what is at stake in Kosovo and why U.S. policymakers should reject the option of Kosovo independence. The Council is a 501(c)(4) organization. In addition to its Officers, the Council also relies heavily on the contributions of members of a separate Advisory Board composed of distinguished authorities with experience and expertise in relevant fields – government, military, politics, journalism, religion, academia, and others. The Council’s Advisory Board members might not agree on everything about American policy to date in the Balkan region or about what would be best future course among the many possible options. But they do agree on what course should not be taken: Kosovo independence is the wrong choice for America.

M. Bozinovich's Economic Assessment of KOSOVO Independence

The UNMIK stands for United Nations Mission In KOSOVO

Kosovo’s perpetuating economic dependency
The European Union Pillar that sets economic guidelines in Kosovo has just issued a report on UNMIK’s Impact on the Kosovo Economy that tracks spending effects from 1999 when they got into Kosovo, to the present and examines potential consequences of UNMIK leaving the province or drastically downsizing its presence.
The report concludes that in case of an all out pullout from the province, Kosovo GDP would immediately fall 7% and additional 5% per year for next two years. Moreover, a pullout of UNMIK employees that comprise only 1% of total Kosovo employment would cause Kosovo unemployment to skyrocket to 50%.
According to Andreas Wittkowsky, the Head of the European Union Pillar’s Economic Policy Office and a person responsible for the report, Kosovo income will decrease by 31% immediately following UNMIKs withdrawal.

The size of the share in UNMIK’s contribution to Kosovo’s per capita income is perhaps the best illustration of the economic dependency of the province on handouts from external sources. With the decrease in UNMIK’s share in financial injections, Kosovo’s income per person has correspondingly also decreased while GDP growth has been, described at best, erratic.
According to the Pillar, UNMIK has spent 2.6 billion Euros in the 1999-2006 period and it blames Kosovo’s dismal GDP growth record on absence of financial handouts to the Kosovo Albanian government.
“One of the reasons for the disappointing growth rates has been the gradual withdrawal of donor assistance after the successful completion of the humanitarian relief and reconstruction phase,” asserts the Pillar.

Please click on http://serbianna.com/blogs/bozinovich/?p=26 to read rest of this story.

G8 Consensus on KOSOVO Independence

Kosovo: G8 consensus emerges
July 17th, 2006

According to the Interfax report, the G8 heads that are meeting in Russia have all agreed that Kosovo solution must be a “compromise solution with the goal of preservation of multi-ethnic Kosovo.”

This statement is significant because it provides a consensus on a diplomatic outcome and the question forward is which modality will best create conditions for an emergence of a multi-ethnic Kosovo: independence or autonomy. Perhaps by carefully scrutinizing who will be forced to compromise, Kosovo Albanians who want independence or Belgrade that seeks to give them a wide autonomy, one may be able to determine which way is this group leaning.

There is a lurking suspicion, however, that G8 is not easy in granting Kosovo Albanians any more self-rule such as independence because, in their official statement, G8 is urging Kosovo Albanians to use the existing level of self rule in order to “observe internationally accepted standards for dealing with ethnic minorities”.

25 July 2006

Kostunica Insist Compromise the Only Solution for Serbians and Albanians

Serbia advocates substantial autonomy of Kosovo within existing borders
Vienna, July 24, 2006 - Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said today in his address, during the talks between representatives of Serbs and Kosovo Albanians on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija held at the Niederosterreich palace in Vienna, that Serbia advocates a substantial autonomy of Kosovo-Metohija within the existing state borders.
From left: Serbian President Boris Tadic, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vuk Draskovic
Photo: TanjugThe official website of the Serbian government brings the entire speech of Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica."Mister Chairman, Dear Mister Prime Minister of the Government of Austria, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,As Prime Minister of the Government of Serbia and co-president of the negotiating team, I especially want to point to the great importance of the fact that Serbian and ethnic Albanian sides are talking today. The Serbian authorities are strongly committed to reaching a compromise and I am convinced that we share a common belief that patient talks are the only way that can lead us to a solution based on agreement and compromise.Also, I am convinced that we all agree that we have to start from the key fact that the Serbs and ethnic Albanians have lived together for centuries and that we have gone through many different phases throughout history. Today we simply have to accept European standards for finding an appropriate system for living together. In any case, we cannot shun logic and common sense and say that the Serbs and ethnic Albanians should live together within the province, and then not apply the same rule of living together when it is necessary to find a good European solution for the province of Kosovo-Metohija within Serbia. The aim of our talks is undoubtedly to reach a compromising solution for the future status of Kosovo-Metohija. I will use this occasion to thank the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, who assumed extreme responsibility and managed to organise this meeting today. At the same time, I will underline that these talks are being conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council. The framework for our talks has been established by very clear rules. These are, in the first place, the rules and principles prescribed by the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and the Resolution 1244 of the United Nations Security Council, and all these three documents unambiguously guarantee the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia and her internationally recognised borders. This is really an important occasion for the Serb and ethnic Albanian sides, together with Mister Ahtisaari in his capacity of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, to examine the future status of the province, respecting, of course, the principles that are the foundation of the United Nations themselves and the entire international order. In addition, I want to point out that apart from these highest principles, the framework and scope of our talks are also clearly established by European standards that prescribe the way in which the issues concerning national minorities have to be solved, such as the case of the ethnic Albanian community in the province. For that reason, among other things, I want to stress that it is good that these talks are held precisely in Vienna, the city which in many aspects represents a symbol of high European standards, and it is also good that Special Envoy Mister Ahtisaari comes from a European state that has given a significant contribution to the overall respect for European rules, values and standards.And finally, apart from the principled commitment to compromise as an always desirable and good solution, all of us at this table have a concrete obligation and responsibility to find that compromise because that clearly results from the guiding principles of the Contact Group, adopted by the Security Council as well. All this, Mister Chairman, leads to the conclusion that the aim of our talks is to find a compromising solution for Kosovo-Metohija, respecting the principles and rules of the UN Charter, Security Council resolutions, European standards and values and guiding principles of the Contact Group. On behalf of my government, I confirm that Serbia wants such a compromising solution above all and that it is firmly resolved to contribute to the building of a stable, peaceful, prosperous and democratically arranged region. Any compromise solution is a just solution at the same time, and that means that both sides have preserved their vital interests. I want to emphasise that Serbia's important and essential interest is that the province develops democratically, and that the ethnic Albanian, Serb and all other communities in Kosovo-Metohija go ahead in many aspects.On the other hand, I am not aware, and I suppose, neither are you, of a case in European experience so far that a new state has been formed on the territory of a democratic state. We all know that there is not a single precedent in European history which could serve as an argument for taking away 15% of Serbia's territory, for changing Serbia's internationally recognised borders against her will, and for dismembering precisely Serbia, of all democratic states in Europe. It is good to clearly hear at this table Serbia's position that it will not accept that another state be made on 15% of its territory. Our firm position is that everyone should forget the idea that for the future status of Kosovo-Metohija it is possible to find a solution that would be contrary to European standards, alien to European experience and contrary to the principles of international law.Mister Chairman, Serbia is determined to find a European solution and it is whole-heartedly ready to grant substantial autonomy to the ethnic Albanian community in the province. I will use this opportunity to call on the ethnic Albanian community to build together with us a new, truly substantial autonomy for Kosovo-Metohija, based on democratic European principles and values. Today, for the first time in the long history of our relations, we have an opportunity to build European experience and European standards into the common future of the province. The fact is that the province of Kosovo-Metohija has never been organised on the basis of firm democratic principles that would serve as a foundation of substantial autonomy. In the name of the aspiration for a compromising solution, I am underlining that democratic Serbia is capable and ready today to secure the widest, substantial autonomy for Kosovo-Metohija, which would, I am convinced, guarantee a stable, peaceful and democratic development of the province, Serbia and the entire region. Substantial autonomy for Kosovo-Metohija has to be guaranteed and made concrete by a constitutional solution, which would be a result of a true constitutional agreement. If such a constitutional agreement for Kosovo-Metohija was not reached during the entire last century and even at the beginning of this one, and if during history we have had difficult periods lacking mutual understanding, conflicts and persecution because of that, these negotiations should be a real start of a qualitatively completely new way of solving the basic constitutional issues, that is, the issue of constitutional organisation of Kosovo-Metohija by agreement. The constitution of each country is a unity of two crucial things: general constitutional principles typical of modern constitutionality, and specific constitutional solutions that are appropriate for given historical conditions and circumstances. There, where it has been a herald and protector of democracy and human rights, the constitution has always been a unity of universal values of modern times and a guarantee for those particularities that are typical for a concrete state and society. This is especially the case in the modern European states which have a complex ethnic, religious, cultural or some other composition, and which managed to keep such complexity and organise it through active constitutional solutions.
Photo: Fonet
Our proposition, which I will lay out in short here (the text of our platform has been submitted and it is already well-known), is based precisely on the rich European tradition of a comprehensive and democratic resolution of deep, long-lasting and difficult disputes within a state. The framework of the solution we propose seeks constitutional mechanisms and guarantees in the specific circumstances of Serbia and Kosovo-Metohija, in an effort to contribute to an outcome that will be not only democratic, but also acceptable for both sides, as well as lasting and desirable from a wider international aspect. The essence of this proposal is that principles and concrete solutions, which we should figure out during the negotiating process, be not only included among the highest constitutional obligations of Serbia and Kosovo-Metohija, but internationally guaranteed as well. As I have already stressed, I am talking about that form of the constitutional solution for Kosovo-Metohija within Serbia that we call substantial autonomy. It would be guaranteed by the General Agreement and the Constitution of Serbia, which would contain its basic principles.The general approach to the substantial autonomy illustrates well the way in which our constitutional proposal would solve this important constitutional question. The province would independently carry out the duties and tasks necessary for its internal economic, social and cultural development, and Kosovo could assume the greatest part of responsibility for its economic development and welfare of its citizens. As part of its independent jurisdictions, the province would have financial autonomy, which entails tax policy, public revenue policy, investment and expenditure. According to this concept of dividing jurisdiction, those functions would belong to Serbia which, ensue from its constitutional structure. These areas of jurisdiction are related to Serbia’s role in international relations as a sovereign state, above all foreign affairs and border control. The function of defence would not be carried out in the province, because the province, as has been said in President Tadic’s speech, would be demilitarized. Serbia would keep a certain number of protective functions – in the areas of basic law, in protection of its religious and cultural heritage, and in the area of special customs inspection. Of course, it is understood that Serbia and the province of Kosovo-Metohija will make progress in the process of stabilisation and association, which means that we will be right in assuming that under new conditions of peace and security, there will necessarily be close contact when it comes to monetary and customs policy.The aim of such a division of jurisdiction is definitely not to establish two completely separate, parallel systems of authority and management, connected only by the thin link of external borders. To the contrary, the constitution would establish areas of cooperation between Belgrade and the province with the aim to removing every obstacle in free movement of people, goods, capital and services. Apart from that, special forms of cooperation would be established in individual sectors such as banking and transaction of payments, harmonisation of tax policy, infrastructure systems and communications, which would substantially contribute to economic development and accelerate the process of European integration. The constitutional jurisdiction of Kosovo-Metohija would be implemented by legislative institutions and executive and court authorities of the province. These bodies would be freely elected by citizens of Kosovo-Metohija and, in accordance with that, Kosovo-Metohija would get a parliament elected through elections that will follow directly. Because of the specific ethnic structure of the province, the parliament would have a guaranteed in advance number of members representing Serbs and other non-Albanian communities. When it comes to parliamentary decisions concerning the vital interests of the Serb community, including the adoption of laws in the province, it should be kept in mind that a decision may not be established if the majority of Serb members of parliament do not vote for it.Other institutions of the province, the government and courts, as well as public administration, through responsible work should contribute to realsing the concept of substantial autonomy for Kosovo-Metohija. Starting from the fact that in present times international cooperation significantly exceeds the usual international relations, and that international relations do not imply just the classic foreign policy, we consider that Kosovo-Metohija can and should establish international cooperation in all areas of its constitutional jurisdiction. Partners of the province in such cooperation could be states, regions and international organisations as long as international subjectivity is not required for such relations. For this type of cooperation with subnational entities, in today’s world of developed communications, and especially in accordance with the practice of European integration, we have advanced standards already. They concern not just mutual legal and contractual relations between partners in cooperation but also the obligations of the subnational entity towards its state. The proposal of a constitutional solution for the future status of Kosovo-Metohija, which I have presented in its basic outlines, is as a proposal open in the highest degree. In case agreement regarding it cannot be reached, it can certainly be amended through consent, with new ideas and better solutions, which is without doubt the path towards the agreement we are seeking. Mister Chairman, Serbia was and still is a reliable partner of the international community, represented by the Security Council and the Contact Group, in its efforts to reach a just solution, which would secure stability, prosperity and the development of democracy in the province and in Serbia. It must be clear to everyone that a compromise solution is also in the vital interest of stability and the future of democratic order in the Balkans. I am convinced, that it is most important that any thought of committing any form of violence, physical or legal, should be firmly excluded, and the international community is mainly responsible that this should not occur. The solution, clearly put, lies in respecting the principles of international law, basic justice and, obviously, in giving due importance to the basic interests of Serbs as well as ethnic-Albanians in the province. I want to assure all present that Serbia has enough experience in state-building that it can as a European democratic state accept and provide the widest degree of autonomy to the province. It also has enough state-building experience to not allow that which not a single European democracy will allow, and that is the creation of another state on its territory.Mister Chairman, the purpose behind my speech is above all to clearly convey that Serbia is ready for agreement and a compromise solution. We see that as the only way because we are aware of the fact that any other way would inevitably create deeper long-term problems. Talks, I am convinced, have finally begun in earnest and it is most important that after today’s extraordinarily important exchange on positions, the upcoming rounds are carefully prepared. We are all no doubt conscious of the importance of time and the need, in the interest of all, to reach an agreement as soon as possible. However I call upon you to be cautious against consequences of senselessly short and artificially imposed deadlines. I am convinced that we can find a way out through joint good will and with readiness to respect principles of international law and fundamental democratic values. On behalf of the Serbian government and citizens of my country, I confirm that it is with such good will and such readiness that Serbia offers the chance of a compromise solution,” said the Serbian Prime Minister in his address.

See story and other developments http://www.srbija.sr.gov.yu/vesti/vest.php?id=25587

24 July 2006

Vienna Talks Set To Begin-Albanians Will Ask For Independence

Kostunica and Tadic in Vienna on July 24

Belgrade, July 21, 2006 - Director of the Serbian government's Office of Media Relations Srdjan Djuric said today that Serbian President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica will participate in the first round of talks on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija that will be held in Vienna on July 24.
Djuric said that every following round of the status talks will be attended by either the Serbian president or the prime minister. Since the question of Kosovo-Metohija is of the utmost importance for Serbia because it involves 15% of its territory, and precisely that part of the territory which is the cradle of the Serbian state, the main negotiators decided that the first round of talks on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija should be attended by both Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and Serbian President Boris Tadic, Djuric said. Serbia has requested direct talks with representatives of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo-Metohija because we believe that direct talks are the best solution for reaching a compromise, the Director of the Office of Media Relations pointed out. He added that Belgrade is confident that Marti Ahtisaari, as a representative of the United Nations in charge for the negotiations on Kosovo, will enable that the upcoming talks be constructive and result in a solution based on compromise.

Albanians Seek The End and Beginning of Independence

Albanians during historic direct Serbian and Albanian face to face talks have insisted that theywant nothing less than independence for KOSOVO, ignoring the decades of oppression committed by the Albanian Muslim forces during WWII with the Utassai w/Ante Pavelic, and during the communist rule and right after the Fall of Tito's regime.

Albanian officials cite 10 years of Serbian reclamation struggles under the misguided Slobadan Milosevic as a sufficient reason to claim autonomous status in the area. Indigenous Serbian populations have been subjected to forced relocation as the Albanians illegally homestead most of Kosovo, sometimes directly forcing people to flee, at other times using already established discrimination policies initiated by the Ottoman Empire. Albanians have said that they have a compelling claim for the area from the time of the 4th centuries. One source disputes this saying that there were several types of peoples in the area at that time
and that the Orthodox Church was established there also since the 4th century, with monks from that era named Phlor and Laur being representatives of the Kosovo region.
The President of Kosovo, Fatmir Sejdur, according to a Reuters article said today during talks "that independence [for Albanians] was "the beginning and end of our positions."
Again the Reuters story gives a skewed rendering of historic precedence in the area. You can read this story in its original form at http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060724/wl_nm/serbia_kosovo_dc_4?submit=Done.

21 July 2006

Croatia's Historic Support of Serbia Regarding Kosovo Metohija

Croatia against imposed solution for Kosovo-Metohija

Belgrade, July 21, 2006 –Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said following talks with Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica today in Belgrade that Croatia is against any imposed solution for Kosovo-Metohija and pledged that the solution to the Kosovo-Metohija problem be found in negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina.
State reception in the honour of Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader outside the Serbian government buildingIn a joint press conference, Sanader said that the solution must be sought through cooperation between Belgrade and Pristina and that there cannot be any imposed solution. As for the Kosovo-Metohija issue, Croatia has an “absolutely firm stand”, Sanader stressed adding that there is no solution for Kosovo-Metohija without Belgrade. Sanader explained that any other solution would be wrong and announced that this firm stand of the Croatian government will remain such. Kostunica said that he informed Sanader about Serbian government’s well-known position on Kosovo-Metohija that he previously presented in several European capitals as well as in Washington DC and the UN headquarters. Both Serbia and Croatia belong to a united Europe, Kostunica and Sanader agreed. Kostunica said in a statement to the press after talks with Sanader that it is very important that the two countries find their place in their natural environment, which is the community of European states and nations. We have opened an entirely different and new chapter in relations, oriented towards a European future, said the Serbian Prime Minister, and added that this new phase in relations between Serbia and Croatia is of extraordinary importance for stability in the region. He recalled that the Serbian government has prepared an Action Plan for completing cooperation with the Hague tribunal which should allow continuation of negotiations with the EU, adding that in drafting the plan the Serbian government largely used Croatia’s experience.Kostunica said that in today’s talks ways of further improving the existing good relations between the two countries were also discussed, as well as solutions to issues from the past which are a strain on these relations, such as the question of missing persons, return of refugees to Croatia and the return of their property.
Ivo Sanader, left, and Vojislav Kostunica at today's press conference
According to Kostunica, bilateral relations have improved and today’s opening of the Batrovci-Bajakovo border-crossing confirms that relations between Serbia and Croatia are moving forward in the spirit of European integration.Sanader said following the meeting that all countries of the region should be in a unified Europe, whose political stability should rest upon Serbia and Croatia.I see Croatia and Serbia’s future in Europe, as foundations of political stability in this part of Europe, said the Croatian Prime Minister, and expressed his expectation that Serbia will soon continue negotiations with the EU on the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), and that the agreement would be concluded by the end of the year.Sanader said that he expects that more concrete and stronger messages will be given to Croatia at the NATO Summit to be held in Riga, than at the summit in Istanbul, and added that he hopes positive changes will take place when it comes to the question of Serbia’ membership in Partnership for Peace. He said that the opening of the modernised border-crossing Batrovci-Bajakovo presents a new opportunity for the future, and added that the past shall not be forgotten, and the two sides will make efforts to resolve all open questions of a humanitarian nature. According to Sanader, the status of ethnic minorities in the two countries presents an extraordinarily important segment in bilateral cooperation and Croatia wishes that the Serb minority becomes fully integrated into Croatian society.Kostunica and Sanader agreed that the International Boundary Commission should begin work on defining the appearance of borders as soon as possible, and Sanader stressed that borders will not be changed, but the precise course of borders needs to be established.
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20 July 2006

Serbia Ending Its Cooperation With Hague Tribunal

Ljajic and Vukcevic appointed team coordinators for implementing Action Plan

Belgrade, July 20, 2006 – Serbian Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Zoran Loncar said that the government adopted in its session today basic elements of the Action Plan to end cooperation with the Hague tribunal, which contains a series of measures that should result in locating and transferring Hague fugitives, including the most wanted Ratko Mladic.
In a press conference after the government session Loncar said that president of the Serbian National Council for Cooperation with the Hague Tribunal Rasim Ljajic and war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic were appointed as team coordinators for implementation of this plan and noted that after adopting basic elements of the Action Plan, what follows now is the implementation phase. The Action Plan, which is the state’s priority, did not include deadlines, Loncar said and noted that this plan is already being implemented and will be implemented until its purpose is satisfied. The Serbian government established a Bill amending the Law on Ministries by introducing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence, which previously functioned at the level of Serbia-Montenegro’s state union, Loncar said. After Serbian parliament adopts this law, conditions will be made for the Serbian government to get two more ministers – for defence and foreign affairs, said Loncar and added that the government did not discuss personnel solutions. Loncar also said that the government and Serbia’s team for political negotiations on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija want direct talks with the Albanian party and that these negotiations should result in a compromise. The Minister said that forthcoming Vienna talks scheduled for July 25 should address the issue of Kosovo-Metohija’s future status and that a real measure of autonomy should be found for Kosovo-Metohija as part of Serbia. Loncar said that UN Secretary General's Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari is now especially responsible for preparing the forthcoming talks. The talks must be in accordance with international law, democratic values and European standards, which means highest degree of autonomy for Kosovo-Metohija within Serbia’s borders, said Loncar. Loncar confirmed that Belgrade will participate in all talks in a most constructive way and added that the question as to who will represent our side in the first round of direct talks is a matter of agreement within the Serbian negotiating team.
Serbian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Goran Zivkov said that the government adopted a Bill on agriculture and sent it to the parliamentary procedure. He explained that for the first time Serbia will get an agriculture bill that will institutionally regulate the policy and goals in that area, measures of agricultural policy, structural support, introduction of agriculture producer registers, formation and introduction of an agriculture council and agriculture chamber as well as an agriculture development strategy for the next ten years. Zivkov also said that €70 million will be set aside as part of the National Investment Plan for agriculture.
Serbian Minister of Energy and Mining Radomir Naumov stated that the government today adopted a proposal of the sectoral investment plan for energy worth €53 million, which will be spent on gasification, subsidising loans and development of solar energy as well as research and use of thermal waters. Naumov stressed that a final project of NIS privatisation was adopted in a move to create a more competitive oil market as well as to find good investors and complete the privatisation process in due time. He announced that the tender for selling 49% of NIS to a strategic partner at the proposal of privatisation advisor, Merrill Lynch-Raiffeisen Investment, will be announced in September or October.The Minister noted that NIS privatisation will develop in two phases. In the first phase, a strategic partner and the government would hold 37.5% shares each while the remaining 25% will be distributed through issuance of shares, whereas the second phase would include recapitalisation worth between €250 million and €300 million as well as sale of shares up to the amount of 49% to the strategic partner, Naumov explained.

Serbia is Demanding U.N. follows International Law

Serbia expects UN Security Council to protect inviolability of internationally recognised borders
Belgrade/New York, July 13, 2006 – Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said in his address to the UN Security Council’s session that Serbia expects with full right from the UN Security Council to fully protect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognised borders respecting the UN Charter.
Kostunica said that Serbia has been showing readiness to accept compromise and reach an agreement on Kosovo-Metohija with some elementary limitations, noting that Serbia resolutely rejects any attempt to snatch away 15% of its territory.According to him, Serbia’s stand is that a durable solution can be reached only through respect of basic principles of international law, which are explicit saying that sovereignty and territorial integrity of democratic states are inviolable. Within that frame, there are a series of possibilities to avoid something which is more than a dangerous precedent - of seizing a country’s territory in order to satisfy the expansionist aspirations of Albanian ethnic minority, the Prime Minister said. He explained that democratic Serbia cannot say yes to Kosovo-Metohija’s independence because it is committed to international law and respect of signed agreements, but also for reasons of self-respect, which is inseparable from respect for others. Kostunica said that a just, durable and stable solution can be found only by giving the widest, essential autonomy within the framework of Serbia’s internationally recognised borders. He stressed that Serbia is firm in its demand that survival and a dignified existence should be secured for Serbs and all other non-Albanians who are still living in Kosovo-Metohija.In demanding that, Serbia is in fact seeking the realisation of the principles of multi-ethnicity, right to freedom of movement, religion and education, explained Kostunica.He pointed out that the Serbian platform envisages a solution according to which Kosovo-Metohija with its majority population of ethnic-Albanians would get the highest possible degree of autonomy, guaranteed by the authority of the international community through an international agreement and international presence. Kostunica emphasized that Serbia is seeking nothing more and no less than basic equality and the assurance that there is a willingness to treat the Serb community in the province, in word and in deed, as any other nation which is represented in the international organisation.The Serbian parliament would without a doubt reject any imposed solution and declare it illegitimate and legally invalid, and Serbia would continue to consider Kosovo-Metohija a part of its territory, reiterated the Serbian Prime Minister. He added that such a development would certainly not contribute to peace, stability and advancement of the successfully initiated democratic process in the Balkans, but to put it accurately, would make it a source of instability for the entire region.

What Kostunica is Not Saying

What Kostunica is Not Saying

Kostunica is not saying what is known
what is known is this
has been reserved for the Lord Most High.
Why are we twisting to the
whims of the enlightened ones?
chafting under their yoke

like speakeasy blue smokes
they demand we whisper His Name
and only where no one can see us
they protect privacy--this is understood
must we forget why
the sacrifice was made
when we stand in
the world's courtyard
like Jesus before Pilate?
must we hide the Pearl
and what it requires of us?
when do we say no to their demands?
If they saw the coming miracle
we know what they would do:
they would deny it; and this is
the freedom that they have chosen
not seeing the prison as it closes in
Behind the legal jargon
whose intention is this by? what is the intention?
we know only
too well.

Nonetheless, it is for God that you cannot take Kosovo-Metohija,
Serbia has been reserved for Him

This is what Kostunica doesn't say, but
what Tsar Lazar said centuries before.
copyrighted 2006

Chilander Prayer for Serbia

Chilandar Monastery - Holy Mount Athos
Lord God of Hosts, God of our salvation, God who alone does wonders, make Your humble servants worthy and mercifully look upon us, as the Lover of humankind, hear us and have mercy on us. Behold, our enemies have gathered together against us, to destroy us and to demolish our Sanctuaries, and You who know all, know that they have unjustly risen up against us, so that we cannot withstand their multitudes unless You help us. Therefore, sinful and unworthy, repenting, with tears we pray You: Help us, God our Saviour, and rescue us for the glory of Your name, so that our enemies might not say: "Behold, God has forsaken them, and there is none to deliver and save them" (Ps. 71:11); rather that all peoples may know that You are our God, and we Your children are always sheltered by Your might. Show us Your mercy, Lord, so that the words spoken by Moses to Israel may apply to us: "Be steadfast, persevere and you shall see the salvation of the Lord, for the Lord will do battle for you!" (Exodus 14:13-14). Give us a good sign, so that those who hate our Orthodox Faith and us may see, and that they will be ashamed and relent.
Lord God, our Saviour, strength, hope and defense, remember not the transgressions and injustice of Your people, do not turn away from us in Your wrath, but instead make us worthy of Your mercy and visit Your humble servants. Come to our assistance and scatter the cunning counsels of those who wish us evil; judge those who offend us, conquer those who attack us; turn their shameless impudence into fear and flight. Forgive the sins of those to whom You have granted the laying down of their lives in battle for our faith, and for the freedom of our people in the Fatherland, and in the day of Your righteous Judgment grant them crowns of glory which will not fade (1 Peter 5:4). For You are the defense, victory and salvation of all who hope in You and glorify You -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

18 July 2006

News Briefs: Prime Minister's Kostunica Editorial in Washington Post

18 July 2006

Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica visited the United States last week to discuss his country's plans to provide for the rights of the indigenous Serbian population in Kosovo. A brilliant plan which can be seen at the Serbian Government page http://www.srbija.sr.gov.yu , it guarantees Constitutional rights to all inhabitants of Serbia and the Kosovo-Metohija
province. Since Serbians had been brutally repressed in the region, economically, politically and religiously, it was necessary for the government to devise a plan that would put an end to five centuries of repression. This plan will insure that all inhabitants of the region will have access to jobs, to acquiring property, to practice their faith.

The United States and the United Nations want to support the Albanians bid for the independence of Kosovo-Motejiha. Albanians now have a 90% majority presence in the area out of approximately 2 million citizens. This was not always the case and has been acheived throughout the past five centuries by Muslims, both Serbian and Albanian Muslims in a effort to depopulate the area of Serbian Eastern Orthodox Christians.

At the conclusion of PM Kostunica's visit, his editorial appeared in the Washington Post. Here is a summary of the editorial and the link by which to read it in full.

Justice for Serbia

By Vojislav Kostunica

The demands for the independence of Kosovo present Southeast Europe and the rest of the world with a compelling question: Will absolute justice be made to yield to relative political interests -- and will authentic democratic values be sacrificed for a mere semblance of peace?

To view the entire article, go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...r=emailarticle

this next article highlights the gravity of the situation in Kosovo.

Kosovo: Countdown to Serb Exodus
by Mr. Bozinovich
July 11th, 2006

Back in May, an internal UN document was leaked to the media in which the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is planning to help facilitate Kosovo Serb exodus in an event of a status decision. A UNHCR spokeswoman confirmed the existence of this internal report to Reuters saying that its reason is to “be ready to help a certain number of people who may be affected by a decision”. As the UNHCR spokeswoman did not specify which status decision will trigger Kosovo Serb exodus it follows then that any decision on Kosovo’s status will be a trigger that will initiate a Muslim Albanian pogrom of Kosovo Christians. Last week, villagers in Kosovo Serb enclaves have been visited....

Read the rest of this at: http://serbianna.com/blogs/bozinovich/

The Truth About Serbia

18 July 2006

Note by Moderator: Many Eastern Orthodox Proselytes have seen the United States media reports on events in Serbia, in Bosnia-Herzevogina, and in Croatia. It has been frustrating for Serbian Americans to watch the mis-information promulgated as truth. The Truth is much more profound, and even inspiring for all us Orthodox Christians, and especially to us proselytes. To begin to understand the situation from an Orthodox perspective, one must first read the story of St.Tsar Lazar and the sacrifice made on 15 June 1389. But for now please read the following which was originally on the Western Serbian Diocese website:

Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in USA and Canada

Truth About Serbia and the Recent Balkan War
Compliments of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Denver ©1996

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)

Contents: Bosnia - The Bloodshed and the Blame
by Nora Beloff

A Commentaryby Bishop Isaiah of Denver :

"This pamphlet is dedicated to all the innocent victims of the civil war in the former Yugoslavia."

Bosnia: The Bloodshed and the Blame

(The following article was written by Ms. Nora Beloff, who was contacted at her home in England and gave permission to reprint this article. Ms. Beloff is the former chief political correspondent of the Observer, and the author of several books, including Tito's Flawed Legacy.)

It is one of the paradoxes of Yugoslavia's tragic civil war that most of the leaders of the Jewish community favour the Croats and the Muslims, backed respectively by the Germans and the Islamic world, against the Serbs, who are fighting primarily to rescue Serb enclaves from what they see as ethnically and religiously biased rule. Every Jew must shudder at the words 'ethnic cleansing' or 'genocide' and this agonised sensitivity has been exploited, by selective reporting and unconfirmed atrocities, to make the Serbs appear as Hitlerite aggressors.

Most Serbs see themselves, on the contrary, as protectors of the Serb minorities who are living inside the internationally recognised but multi ethnic provinces of what had been Yugoslavia, as well as acquiring the access routes to reach them. Recognising this discrepancy in no way denies the appalling suffering imposed by the siege of Sarajevo and other contested areas, nor belittles the efforts to rescue Jews from this inferno.But what we also need to admit is the overwhelming evidence that, although the Serbs have the heaviest and most televisable guns, they have no monopoly on the slaughter and sadism. All three communities, Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim, incited by vicious nationalist leaders, are guilty of war crimes against hapless civilians who happen not to belong to their own ethnic group.In this respect, President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia is no worse than President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia or President Alija Izetbegovic of Bosnia. Political and religious leaders, whether Jewish or not, cannot help being influenced by a public, enraged by daily TV news bites presented to them by reporters with no knowledge of the historical or political background and who compete against each other for the most easily accessible horrors, the bloodier the better.Wiser judgements might prevail if the origins of the present conflict were examined. For there is no good reason to suppose that the dreadful civil war need never have taken place, had it not been for German and, later, American promotion of unilateral declarations of independence by the component parts of the Yugoslav federation – despite both the mixed ethnic composition of the populations and the repeated warnings from France and Britain. The Tito brand of Communism was already in an advanced state of decomposition and, in any case, had never been run for the benefit of the Serbs. New forms of self-government within appropriate boundaries might, with the help of international mediators, have been negotiated, with little acrimony and skirmishes. For when the fighting stops, the contenders, at least those who survive, will have to go on living within the same geographically narrow confines, though the present violence may have indefinitely delayed the ultimately necessary reconciliation.The simplistic Western view is that the troubles started when Milosevic re-imposed Serb rule on the Albanian-inhabited Serb province of Kosovo. Like other Communist bosses, he had recognised that he could retain power only by playing up the nationalist issue.What the media ignore is that, in the late 1960s, Tito had transferred power from the Serbs to his Albanian cronies and, as I saw during my own visits, they built up local support by harassing and driving out the hated and vulnerable Serbs.The Serb response was, of course, excessive but so was the reaction of the Slovene and Croat nationalists who used the Kosovo issue to fuel hatred and fear of the Serbs and to incite war hysteria.Even so, violence might have been averted had the Austrians and Germans not encouraged the rupture and fostered the belief that the struggle for independence would have international support.German intervention was itself provocative. Jews should be the first to remember that, in 1941, after Belgrade had rebelled against allowing Yugoslavia to be incorporated into the Axis, an enraged Hitler had condemned the Serbs to rank with the Jews and gypsies as a people to be destroyed. He left the genocidal job to his Croat nominee, the extremist Ante Pavelic, whose daughter has now been re-admitted to Tudjman's Croatia, where she has registered a party aiming to rehabilitate her father......This article can be accessed by clicking on the following link.


Prayer for Serbia, for Kosovo-Motejiha

18 July 2006
Chilandar Monastery - Holy Mount Athos
Lord God of Hosts, God of our salvation, God who alone does wonders, make Your humble servants worthy and mercifully look upon us, as the Lover of humankind, hear us and have mercy on us. Behold, our enemies have gathered together against us, to destroy us and to demolish our Sanctuaries, and You who know all, know that they have unjustly risen up against us, so that we cannot withstand their multitudes unless You help us. Therefore, sinful and unworthy, repenting, with tears we pray You: Help us, God our Saviour, and rescue us for the glory of Your name, so that our enemies might not say: "Behold, God has forsaken them, and there is none to deliver and save them" (Ps. 71:11); rather that all peoples may know that You are our God, and we Your children are always sheltered by Your might. Show us Your mercy, Lord, so that the words spoken by Moses to Israel may apply to us: "Be steadfast, persevere and you shall see the salvation of the Lord, for the Lord will do battle for you!" (Exodus 14:13-14). Give us a good sign, so that those who hate our Orthodox Faith and us may see, and that they will be ashamed and relent.
Lord God, our Saviour, strength, hope and defense, remember not the transgressions and injustice of Your people, do not turn away from us in Your wrath, but instead make us worthy of Your mercy and visit Your humble servants. Come to our assistance and scatter the cunning counsels of those who wish us evil; judge those who offend us, conquer those who attack us; turn their shameless impudence into fear and flight. Forgive the sins of those to whom You have granted the laying down of their lives in battle for our faith, and for the freedom of our people in the Fatherland, and in the day of Your righteous Judgment grant them crowns of glory which will not fade (1 Peter 5:4). For You are the defense, victory and salvation of all who hope in You and glorify You -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.