21 March 2006

Many Kosovo Serb settlements without electricity in freezing temperatures

Dr. Raskovic-Ivic seeks urgent and energetic intervention by Petersen

Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija, Beograd, January 26, 2006

Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija president Dr. Sanda Raskovic-Ivic sent a letter today to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Kosovo and Metohjia, UNMIK chief Soren Jessen-Petersen, emphasizing that the Belgrade government and Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are investing maximum efforts in order to establish at least a minimum level of trust among opposing national communities so that life can continue with basic elements of mutual respect. However, warned Dr. Raskovic-Ivic, all too frequently we are witnesses to examples suggesting the completely opposite intentions of the Albanian side, which requires urgent and energetic intervention by representatives of the UNMIK administration as well as of SRSG Petersen himself.

The latest example occurred in Djakovica, the letter states. In the former location of the (Serbian Orthodox) church of the Holy Trinity, destroyed in 1999, the municipality of Djakovica and the KLA Veterans' Association raised a monument to "war heroes" with the intention of building "a memorial complex dedicated to the achievements of the KLA war" on the same land parcel. Dr. Raskovic-Ivic categorically demanded that Petersen prevent this anti-civilizational act of violence, protect the interests of the Serbian Orthodox Church and assist in the rebuilding of the church of the Holy Trinity in the same location.

In her letter the head of the Coordinating Center also reminded that on March 17, 2004 in Djakovica the Albanians also destroyed the church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos from the 18th century in addition to the church of the Holy Trinity, and that Serbian Orthodox church is also awaiting restoration.

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School cancelled in some Kosovo Serb settlements due to very low temperatures

Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija, Kosovska Mitrovica, January 26, 2006

As a result of the very low temperatures, which for days have hovered at 20 degrees below zero Celsius, school was cancelled today in some Serbian settlements in central Kosovo, as well as in Strpce and Gorazdevac, while classes took place normally in other places.

Predrag Stojcetovic, head of the Serbian Ministry of Education's Section for northern Kosovo, confirmed for the International Press Center in Kosovska Mitrovica that classes were cancelled in Lipljan and Lepina, as well as in some schools in the municipality of Gracanica, in Strpce and Gorazdevac where the power outage situation is most serious.

Strpce and Gorazdevac have not had any power at all for days, and temperatures are lowest throughout Kosovo.

"Because of the difficult power situation we first decided to cancel classes in all Serbian schools; however, we subsequently decided that classes will be held in all schools where minimal conditions exist," said Stojcetovic.

He added that schools were open in Gracanica, Laplje Selo and Susica, as well as everywhere where minimal conditions for holding classes exist, such as in all primary and secondary schools in the municipalities in northern Kosovo, Mitrovica, Zvecan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic.


Primary health centers in Kosovo Polje and Gracanica open and working normally despite the cold

Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija, Kosovska Mitrovica, January 26, 2006

Primary health centers in Kosovo Polje and Gracanica are working normally despite the extremely low temperatures and power restrictions, the International Press Center in Kosovska Mitrovica has learned.

Dr. Slavica Cankovic, the director of the Kosovo Polje Health Center, said that the number of patients was negligibly higher, primarily due to colds.

"We have enough medications, we have power from our own generators, and we are working as normally as possible under the present circumstances. The children are attending classes regularly," she said.

Snezana Mitrovic, secretary of the Clinical Hospital Center in Gracanica, said that all medical services were working despite the fact that for days every one hour of electrical power is followed by five hours without power.

"Two days ago Gracanica had no power for 24 hours straight and the temperatures are exceptionally low," she said.




Belgrade, January 25, 2006

Increased electrical power restrictions went into effect this morning in northern Kosovo and Metohija due to the failure of Block A, producing 120 megawatts, in the Obilic Thermoelectrical Facility. Internet service has also been interrupted by insufficient power availability.

Nebojsa Aleksic, the director of Elektrokosmet, confirmed for the International Press Center in Kosovska Mitrovica that in addition to regular restrictions in effect until yesterday in northern Kosovo and Metohija according to a schedule of four hours on, two hours off, since this morning increased power restrictions have gone into effect in northern Kosovo and Metohija.

According to Aleksic, only priority customers have power in northern Mitrovica, as well as in the municipalities of Zvecan, Leposavic and Zubin Potok: the hospital, primary health centers, schools and student residences in order to provide heating for those institutions.

Since the blackouts are four hours long, during the two hours when there is electricity it is extremely difficult to fully meet the needs of all customers, and consequently there are local reductions also in effect.

Aleksic conveyed that representatives of the Kosovo Electrical Company (KEK) advised that power availability would improve after 12:00 noon but Aleksic warned that due to the low temperatures, which are still in the range of 15 degrees below zero (Celsius) it will be difficult to adequately meet customer needs after 4:00 p.m.

Due to inadequate power levels, the main generator through which the VGN cable company provides Internet service and television has also fallen in disrepair; consequently, as of this morning northern Kosovo and Metohija had no cable or satellite television, and Internet connections are still interrupted.

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