OF KOSOVO AND METOHIJA ON MARCH 17, 2004
AND THE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE NATO BOMBING
This March 17 is five years since the pogrom committed upon the Serbian Orthodox people and the Orthodox sanctuaries in Kosovo and Metohija. This pogrom of the Albanian terrorists drove out new more than four thousand Serbs from their ages-long hearts, destroyed hundreds of homes, demolished new over thirty churches, and because of it also new innocent victims were fallen. All this happened in thepresence of international civilian and military forces, the UNMIK and the KFOR. Until today no one has been accused for this violence and public crime. And all that is just a continuation of the NATO bombing and the unequalled pogrom, violence, murders and destruction of hundreds of sanctuaries in 1999 in Kosovo and Metohija.Up to date no one was held responsible for that violence andpublic crime. And all that is actually a continuation of NATO bombing and unprecedented prosecution, violence, murders and destruction of hundreds of churches in 1999. In Kosovo and Metohija. From all prosecuted and displaced it is a small number of those who could return to their burnt homes and manors in the last ten years; vast majority of destroyed churches and monasteries remains in ruins or everytrace of their existence is missing. That is what the protection of human rights looks like and "reaching standard" which international community has promised before the final solution of the Kosovo issue! In the meantime, a certain number of states, contrary to UN decisions (decision of the Security Council 1244), has accepted from the Albanians unilaterally proclaimed Kosovo independence. In that way, the convicted crimes and violence not only remained unpunished, but were even awarded with mutilation of one internationally recognised state, member of the UN, contrary to all international conventions and guaranteed by the state and national law. This act certainly confirms the veracity of statement made by former American ambassador Mr. Montgomery, that the NATO and US bombing itself over Serbia and Montenegro, was conducted with a purpose of giving Kosovo its independence. "Protection of human rights" followed by the new ethnic cleaning and cultural destruction of Serbian people, obviously represented an excuse for geopolitical accomplishments of modern powerful states. This was also confirmed by the latest draconian verdicts in Hague Tribunal for the people who defended their country and its unity, parallel to the liberating verdicts for terrorist Haradinaj, F. Ejupi, and others. It is difficult, or impossible to put in a common sense the right for the fight against terrorism and protection of the US ,,national interests" and other states in far Afghanistan and Iraq, murders of hundreds of thousands innocent people from there and cultural destruction of that ancient people,and by doing so, not only deprive people from the right to their country, but judge them as criminals.
Hence, deeply convinced that historical course of things will, as many times in past, confirm also this time that "God is not in force, but in justice", we call the faithful to take part also this March 17 in a memorial service for the suffered from the terrorist pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija. The memorial service will be held at the Cathedral Church in Belgrade on Wednesday at noon. On the occasion of 10 years of the NATO bombing of our country, a memorial service for the suffered will be held in all churches countrywide,along with ringing of bells at 18:45,when on March 24, 1999 the first bomb on our country was fallen. The memorial service will be held in Belgrade at St Marko's church at 17h. After it there is a commemorative academy at the Sava Center at 20h.
From the office of the Holy Synod of Bishops
Source: Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate