The Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija calls on the Serb population to exercise self-restraint and behave in conscientious manner. Today's uncontrolled behavior on the part of Albanian extremist groups is the best indicator of what the Church and Serb leaders have been saying for years, which is that in Kosovo and Metohija in the presence of international forces a monoethnic and fascist society is being built whose purpose is the complete expulsion and extermination of the unprotected Serb population. By their actions of today, Albanian extremists and their leaders have shown their true colors and the kind of Kosovo that they want to build. The story of the Albanian leaders about so-called multiethnicity and democracy has been and remains pure deception of the international community in order to gain time and complete the process of complete rearmament and creation of paramilitary forces.
The Diocese appeals to the authorities in Belgrade to undertake all measures to protect the Serbs and other endangered population from armed Albanians in the event of further escalation of violence.
The Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija wishes to inform the public that there is a general campaign by Kosovo Albanians organized by extremist groups in progress whose purpose is to destabilize the Province and expel the remaining Serbian population. Presently unprotected Serbs in the enclaves are being guarded by strong forces of international police and KFOR and there is a danger that the riots will spread to all parts of Kosovo and Metohija unless KFOR launches a decisive military campaign to occupy key territories and routes. According to multiple sources both the Albanians and international forces are using firearms in self-defense.
According to reports from KIM Radio in Caglavica several thousand Albanians are presently trying to break through to the Serb villages of Caglavica and Gracanica, where the unprotected Serb population is being guarded by cordons of UNMIK police and KFOR. The first blockade on Mt. Veternik was broken through some 40 minutes ago and the Albanians arrived within some 100 meters from the village itself where hand grenades have been thrown at two Serb houses. According to local sources many Serbs have been injured by rocks. Radio KIM from Caglavica reports that there is smoke rising from some Serb houses on the outskirts of the village but it is difficult to verify the concrete situation on the ground. Gunshots can also be heard although it is not clear whether rubber bullets or real ammunition is being fired.
The first cordon of international forces consists of Indian riot police; behind them are strong KFOR forces from the Scandinavian countries. In Caglavica and Gracanica themselves the situation is presently calm and both Church and political leaders are urging the Serbs to behave conscientiously and with restraint in order to prevent the further uncontrolled spread of violence.
The situation is also critical in Kosovska Mitrovica where demonstrations and riots started this morning as a result of the broadcasting of unconfirmed reports regarding the drowning of three Albanian children in the Ibar River. During the night general preparations for today's disturbances were laid with the purpose of provoking the Serbs from the northern part of Mitrovica and causing a general armed conflict. According to a statement by Marko Jaksic of the Serbian National Council of Northern Kosovo, at least two Serbs have been killed and several have been seriously wounded and transferred for treatment to Mitrovica Hospital. SNC of Northern Kosovo representatives claim that this is a pre-planned and well-organized campaign whose purpose is to rise up the entire Albanian population of the province. The situation in smaller Serb villages and settlements bordering on larger Albanian settlements and territories remains completely unclear.
Appeal of Bishop Artemije:
Bishop Artemije has appealed to the Serbian population through the ERP KIM Info Service to show restraint and act in a conscientious and dignified manner. Today's uncontrolled behavior on the part of Albanian extremist groups is the best indicator of what the Church and Serb leaders have been saying for years, which is that in Kosovo and Metohija in the presence of international forces a monoethnic and fascist society is being built whose purpose is the complete expulsion and extermination of the unprotected Serb population. By their actions of today, Albanian extremists and their leaders have shown their true colors and the kind of Kosovo that they want to build. The story of the Albanian leaders about so-called multiethnicity and democracy has been and remains pure deception of the international community. The Serb people and its representatives unanimously ask for urgent protection and reinforcement of KFOR and UNMIK forces along with the proclamation of a state of emergency and a curfew.
Patriarch Pavle And Crown Prince Alexander Extend An Invitation For Assistance To Chilandar Monastery: The Renewal Of Chilandar Monastery The Is Common Concern Of The Church, Crown And People8. March 2004 - 19:37
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle, together with his closest co-workers, received today at the Patriarchal Residence in Belgrade, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander Karageorgevich, among whose entourage, were Captain Panagiotis Tsakos and Mr. Thomas Zephyres, from Greece, great friends of the Serbian people and their Church, as well as Mr. Dragan Acovich, a member of the Crown Counsel.
Last night after midnight Chilandar Monastery on Mount Athos was caught by catastrophic fire, which is still not completely extinguished. There are no casualties, and the firefighters, monks and workers in the monastery are keeping the fire under control. The fire, which spread by rooftop, completely destroyed a part of the monastery complex from the abbot's cell, through the hospitality rooms all the way to the Tower of Saint Sava. The Church of King Milutin, the treasury, archives and monastery library remain out of the fire's range. Five fire engines from Kareia, the administrative center of Mount Athos and the Chalkidiki Peninsula, joined in extinguishing and containing the fire.
Appeal Of Serbian Patriarch Pavle to the Secretary General of UN and its High Representatives in Bosnia And Herzegovina18. February 2004 - 12:14
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle addressed today a letter to Mr. Kofi Anan, Secretary General of the United Nations, Lord Paddy Ashdown, High Representative of the UN for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as to General Virgil L. Packett II, Commander-in-Chief of SFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina, expressing his deep dismay at some embarrassing events, which took place at Pale during the Christmas holidays, on 9 and 10 January 2004.
Namely, the peacekeeping soldiers of SFOR, searched the premises of the Church and rectory in Pale, the night of 10 and 11 January 2004, given the explanation that they were apprehending persons suspected of war crimes and their accomplices. In Patriarch Pavle's letter, among all is stated:
Having learned that certain temporary organs (the University of Pristina, as well as the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology for Kosovo and Metohija) submitted a request to the Pristina City Council for passage of a resolution, which would strip the rights of the Serbian Orthodox Church by preventing it from using its building site where Christ the Savior Orthodox Church is being built, as well as the location designated for the "St. Sava" Cultural Center, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle wrote to Javier Solana, High Representative of the European Union for Common Foreign and Security Policy and Harri Holkeri, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and Metohija (UNMIK), in which he also notes:
"The intention of the Serbian Orthodox Church is neither to provoke the Albanian Community nor the University, rather by the active presence of an Orthodox church and center to serve as a source and proof of international relations working toward the creation of an actual multiethnic, multi-religious and democratic Kosovo and Metohija.
"We sincerely anticipate that by your timely official reaction, you will protect the rights of our Church and by your concrete measures you will make known that the establishing of civil society in Kosovo and Metohija cannot be carried out on behalf of temporary Regional organs, to the detriment of any, and neither the Serbian Orthodox Church and her faithful", notes His Holiness to the international officials in charge of Kosovo and Metohija.
Patriarch is not a Member of The Republic of Serbia Committee for Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the First Serbian Uprising1. February 2004 - 8:26
The daily “Politika” of 28 January 2004, page A7, in an article titled, “Rehearsal without President” devoted to state preparations for marking two centuries of the Karageorge Uprising (or, as noted in the text, two centuries since the modern Serbian state), reports in addition to Zarko Korac, Natasa Micic, Dragoljub Micunovic, Josef Kasa, Cedomir Jovanovic, Rasim Ljajic, Dusan Mihajlovic and other dignitaries – that His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle is also a member of the republican Committee for the marking of this significant jubilee.
In the interest of truth, we herewith inform the public that His Holiness Patriarch Pavle has received a decision from the Serbian Government of 19 July 2003, according to which he was named as a member of the above-mentioned committee. However, in his letter of 6 August 2003, he “offered his appreciation for the entrusted honor” and expressed his hope that “the planned solemnity will be marked in a manner befitting its significance”.
We expect from “Politika” newspaper to amend this incorrect information and to inform the public that His Holiness Patriarch Pavle is not a member of the Republic of Serbia Committee for the celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the First Serbian Uprising.