Flames issuing from the U.S. embassy in Belgrade on Thursday underscored the mounting rage in Serbia over Kosovo's Western-backed declaration of independence. The embassy was unguarded when several hundred demonstrators attacked, following a protest rally by hundreds of thousands of protesters. At that larger rally, held earlier, the sharp divisions that typify Serbian politics were nowhere to be seen, as leaders from across the spectrum united in a massive show of force to protest Kosovo's secession from Serbia. As banners bearing messages such as "Kosovo is Serbia" were hoisted, the country's leading politicians were joined by the likes of filmmaker Emir Kusturica. Even Australian open tennis champion Novak Djokovic beamed his support via video link.
Announcent by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church on the Riots Following the Protest in Belgrade25. February 2008 - 7:06
Following yesterday’s people’s protest and the prayer service held for the salvation of Kosovo and Metohija, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church called upon the entire Serbian orthodox people to intensify their prayers for the deliverance of our people in Kosovo and Metohija, for peace among us and in the whole world, in these times of extreme hardship.
BELGRADE, Feb 21 (Tanjug) - Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said on Thursday, addressing the protest rally in Belgrade, that Kosovo has belonged to Serbia from times immemorial, and that it will always be so.
"As a state, citizens and a nation, we are not giving up our place in the world. We are not giving up our place among the nations of the world. But we ask that we arrive at such a place and our future under the same conditions as all other nations and all states in the world. That is justice! That is international law! That is the 21st century. Anything else is force," the prime minister said.
They ‘cast shame on themselves’ Serbs in Lake county offer prayers of ‘crisis’ over new Kosovo indepedance24. February 2008 - 12:26
While many in Lake County might look at events in southeastern Europe and wonder what to make of it, John Plavsic of Grayslake was among those who headed out to the New Gracanica Monastery on Thursday night to participate in moleban, a prayer service offered in the Serbian Orthodox church in times of crisis."It is a prayer in a time of need, or for health, usually for someone in dire straits," Plavsic explained. "Tonight it is intended particularly for the Kosovo situation, and generally for Serbians who live in Serbia right now, because of the tense situation there."
Almost three months ago the Australian people elected a new government with a mandate to provide "new leadership". In foreign affairs, it was clear that this mandate meant Australia would exercise an independent policy and no longer be part of any "coalition of the willing".The Rudd Government's recognition of Kosovo ("US and European nations quickly recognise Kosovo", February 20) betrays the trust placed in it by the Australian people. Just as the war in Iraq has led to massive instability and exacerbated the growth of terrorism, the precipitate recognition of Kosovo will lead to similar consequences in the Balkans and elsewhere.
In his sermon following the prayer service for the salvation of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija in front of the Temple of Saint Sava, the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Coastlands, Amfilohije, launched the message that the Serbian people had to say to the world that "as long as we exist, Kosovo is the apple of our eye, our heart, the heart of our heart, our holy city of Jerusalem and that we cannot renounce it, just like we cannot renounce our soul and our fate''. His Eminence Amfilohije said that "Kosovo represents a huge tribunal and that today we, the Albanians and the Americans, the British and the French are undergoing judgement in Kosovo''. The plateau in front of the temple church was completely filled with people who had arrived from the mass protest held in front of the National Parliament.
Sources: www.tanjug.co.yu and www.svetigora.com