In an editorial in Koha Ditore, Agron Bajrami comments on a press release issued by the Coordination Centre for Kosovo and broadcast by Tanjug news agency, which claimed that a well-organised campaign was underway in all of Kosovo to discredit and intimidate remaining Serbs in Kosovo. The CCK had claimed that even some Albanian media, namely Koha Ditore, were involved in this campaign. Bajrami calls this a planned fabrication to hurt Kosovo on the eve of the status process. Bajrami also criticizes UNMIK media monitoring for including this information in its reports.
“Covic’s Coordination Centre, broadcast by Serbian state agency Tanjug, has launched another planned lie to hurt Kosovo on the eve of the start of the status process.
The scandalous ‘news’, distributed even by UNMIK media monitoring says the following, a comprehensive well-organized action is underway throughout Kosovo, especially in the region of Pristina and Gjakova, aimed at discrediting and intimidating the respectable Serbs who have remained in the southern province, the CCK said in a statement, quoting reliable information. There are enormous posters on some buildings in Gjakova and Pristina with 650 Serb names claimed by instigators of the campaign to be murderers reads the statement. Some Albanian media have also been included in the campaign -- first of all Koha Ditore -- which asserts that Albanians will be arresting and trying these Serbs when UNMIK chief Søren Jessen-Petersen soon hands over the police and judiciary to them, reads the statement.
It is not news that the Serbian Government team, under Covic’s leadership and with support from Tanjug, issues disinformation about Kosovo.
Similarly, Serbian Government services have continuously targeted Koha Ditore. To believe the lies of alleged anti-Serb conspiracy in Kosovo, false quotations of Koha Ditore was important and often essential to the manipulations of Serbia since 1997.
The truth has always been irrelevant in this special war Serbia is waging. Belgrade’s propaganda experts have by now mastered manipulation of events and of the public by fabricating ‘facts’ and quoting nonexistent articles.
All of this, then, is neither a mistake nor negligence. It is calculated slander. It is an intentional incitation for conflict. It is part of Serbian official policy against Kosovo. It is a premeditated act of hostility, which is not surprising.
The episode with Covic’s Centre and the ‘news’ about Albanian ‘plans’ to use the pre-announced transfer of competencies of police and judiciary to arrest ‘respectable Serbs’, would not even be worthy of a commentary.
The lie was also included in UNMIK’s media monitoring reports. This report is disseminated to many international UNMIK officials as well as to several others, including in liaison offices and civilian and military international missions, to journalists worldwide who are interested in developments in Kosovo, to diplomats and human rights activists in the region, and it may even reach Kai Eide and the Contact Group.
A note to the editors of media monitoring in UNMIK, I hope that (unlike the articles on Serb crimes in Srebrenica or reports from Milosevic’s trial at The Hague) this article will be translated and included in your report because the people who were misinformed by Tanjug’s ‘news’ in your report deserve to know that this is intentional fabrication especially when UNMIK does not react to such misinformation.”