21 March 2006

UNMIK urged to stop building of memorial on Serbian church land in Kosovo

BBC Monitoring, January 27, 2006 Friday


Text of report by Serbian independent news agency FoNet


Belgrade, 26 January: The president of the Coordination Centre for Kosovo-Metohija, Sanda Raskovic-Ivic, has in a letter asked UNMIK [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] chief Soeren Jessen-Petersen to prevent the association of war veterans of the OVK [Kosovo Liberation Army - KLA; UCK in Albanian] from building "a memorial complex to the achievements of the war" in Djakovica at the site of the church of the Holy Trinity, the Coordination Centre has said.


The letter asks Petersen to prevent this "anti-civilization act and violence, to protect the interests of the Serbian Orthodox Church [SPC] and to assist in the rebuilding of the church of the Holy Trinity which is situated in the same place".


The church of the Holy Trinity was destroyed in 1999 and a memorial to OVK fighters has been built on this plot, the statement says.


Raskovic-Ivic pointed out that [ethnic] Albanians demolished the 18th century Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on 17 March 2004 and said the church should be rebuilt.


"Official Belgrade and Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija are investing great efforts in the aim to establish at least a modicum of trust between the opposing national communities and for life to continue with a basic element of mutual trust; however, all too often we have been witnesses to examples which point to the Albanian side's completely opposite intentions, which requires urgent and energetic action by UNMIK representatives," the letter points out.


Source: FoNet news agency, Belgrade, in Serbian 1459 gmt 26 Jan 06