Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Serb Web Site Skips Bloodiest Part of Kosovo History

By Douglas Hamilton

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia launched a Web Site on the disputed province of Kosovo on Tuesday which appears to skip the bloodiest part of its recent history to focus on Serb suffering at the hands of Albanians in the past six years.

"Images of Suffering" (www.srbija.sr.gov.yu/kosovo-metohija) glosses over what Serbs did to Albanians before 1999 and zooms in on what Albanians did to Serbs thereafter, especially in March 2004 when Albanians rioted, killed and burned homes.

It cites a Serbian Intelligence Service book on "Albanian terrorism and organized crime" in Kosovo, including the alleged "pan-Islamic factor" and a hint that Osama Bin Laden, not a desire for emancipation, incited Albanian separatism.

"This site is a total denial that the war took place," said Halil Matoshi, a prominent Kosovo Albanian writer jailed in Serbia during the separatist guerrilla war of 1998-99.

"According to this, only Serb rights have been threatened, and Albanians are just terrorists...there was no repression by the police and army, the state was just defending its territory by legal means," he told Reuters in Pristina.

The site intends to "remind the foreign public" of Serbian grievances in the year that the United Nations is expected to decide whether the Kosovo Albanian majority's demands for independence from Serbia should be met or rejected.

But its rendering of Kosovo history omits the parts most familiar to Europe and the United States, which launched a military "humanitarian intervention" against Serbia six years ago to stop mass murder and ethnic cleansing.

DON'T MENTION THE WAR

The site has only one mention of former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, whose repression of Kosovo Albanians in the 1990s triggered an Albanian insurgency, provoked NATO into its first war and landed him in The Hague on charges of genocide.

It speaks of facing "crimes committed by the previous regime secretly, in our name" but says "we are interested even more" in the fate of Serbs and other non-Albanians.

Some 12,000 Albanians were killed in the war and 800,000 were deported or fled to Albania and Macedonia as Serbia poured up to 44,000 troops and police into the province of two million. NATO bombed Yugoslavia for 78 days in 1999 until Milosevic gave in and agreed to withdraw his forces. Up to 600 Serbs were killed by NATO bombs, according to Amnesty International, and 180,000 Serbs fled Kosovo fearing Albanian revenge attacks.

The site appeared as Serbia awaits a decision from Brussels in the coming days on its acceptability as a candidate for membership of the European Union, which insists that Belgrade comply with the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

The site says it aims to help "discovery of the truth about the time of war and crimes that are behind us."

Additional reporting by Matt Robinson)

5 comments:

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Hardly surprising, considering that it appears to be a serbian government site.

Anonymous said...

Even in the disturbances that happened last March there were more Albanian civilians murdered than Serbs, and that too is somehow overlooked by this Serbian site. They also overlook the fact that there are massive graves inside Serbia, and that more than
5000 Albanians are still missing. Add to that number the thousands of Albanians that have died when Kosova was given to Serbia after the capitulation of the Turkish Empire. Also take in consideration the very well detailed plans made by the Jugoslav government in the 1920-1930 period, for the toal anihilation of the Albanians in Kosova, Montenegro and Fyrom. Add to this plan the plan made by Sesejl in 1990's that again demanded the total anihilation of the Albanians (around 3 million of them). Of course u would not see this kind of information on a Serbian site. They are proud of the genocide they've caused but they try to cover it from the international community, so they won't be thought of what they really are. The Serbs do not have a short memory when it comes to history and the crimes they have committed; they are masters of deception, diversion and hate propaganda.

Kosovar said...

Not only Serbs, but international agencies also tend to overlook the fact that more Albanians than Serbs died in the March 2004 clashes.

Anonymous said...

I am a Kosovar and for the moment im working in a Serbian village in Kosovo since a year. Considering what happend durnig the past 6 years, i see here that nothing has changed. The natinalism is still the same ,maybe even stronger then before the year 1999. As for the Serbian Goverment site , ive checked it and i found that there is a list of people killed during the war in Kosovo and it mentions one of the most known Albanian lawyer Bajram Kelmendi kidnapped from his house by the Serb Police when the bombing started together with his sons ,27 years and 15 years.They were found after two days just two Km away from the centre of Pristina shot from automatic weapons. Its very interesting cause in the Serbian govermantal site it says that they were killed from the side of "Albanian Terrorists". This is so hard for me cause i knew the Younger son and he was a friend of mine. THis is just another prove that the Serbian goverment never stoped telling lies and acusations against Albanians for their own crimes.

Anonymous said...

It continues to become more and more obvious that Serbs are not fit to part of multiethnic states...

look at what they do to the Vojvodinans...

the Albanian troubles were triggered by a false report of Serbs murdering Albanian boys...

It ceased quickly...

while it happened, there were reports that Serbs were attacking Hungarians in Vojvodina hundreds of miles away!

Unlike the Serbs who STILL deny their collective guilt for a decade of genocide...

retribution, reconstruction and apologies were immediately tendered by the Albanian community...

It would have NEVER happened had there not been a century of serbian murders of albanians...

BTW: whatever happened to that boy who made up the incendiary lie?