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From civilians in Serbia ... read and decide!


Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 15:47:54 +0100
From: "Fr. Sava" <[email protected]>
Reply-To: [email protected]
Organization: Decani Monastery
Subject: Appeal Against NATO Attacks (Share it with all you know)


I am writing this appeal while the NATO bombers and cruise missiles
are spreading death and destruction all around my country. It is my
moral obligation to say that the statements by the NATO officials that
only military targets are attacked in Yugoslavia are not true and they
are intended to deceive many peace loving people in the West that their air
force is in a "humanitarian" action.

From our credible sources we learned that several dozens of civilian
facilities (infrastructure, education, telecommunication, environment
and traffic facilities) were attacked and destroyed by NATO air force.
Besides there are more and more civilians who are killed or crippled by
NATO bombs, including refugees from Bosnia and Croatia. Their refugee
camp was hit near Kursumlija and 10 women and children were killed or
wounded at the spot. Several schools have been destroyed and many of
them damaged so that children cannot go to schools any more because
there is a danger that they might be killed in them.

The areas with important cultural and religious monuments are also
targeted. Day before yesterday Gracanica monastery area was attacked.
Thank God there is only a slight damage on the monastery roof but on the
other hand several family homes were burned to ashes.

Last night a cruise missile hit the old town in Djakovica, mostly
inhabited by Albanians, and made a great fire in which several Albanian
houses were destroyed and several civilians seriously wounded.

In short, NATO attacks are nothing but barbarous aggression which
affects mostly the innocent civilian population, both Serb and Albanian.
Their continuation will not only break the will of the people of
Yugoslavia to live in freedom but will strengthen their determination to
resist to tomahawk democracy which is trying to bring "peace" by
crimes against humanity.

Such actions are a shame for Western democracies and the whole world.
Serbian Orthodox Church remains fully faithful to the principle that
good can never be achieved by evil and that the Kosovo crisis must be
resolved by peaceful and diplomatic means so that all peoples living
here will be granted full protection of their human rights and freedom.
NATO attacks will only make the things worse. They will definitely
destroy the prospects of peaceful coexistence and will further
radicalize extremists on both sides. And finally, the greatest victims
of this criminal policy will be innocent civilians.

We have the full moral right to protest against these crimes because our
Church has strongly condemned acts against civilians committed both by
Serb and Albanian extremists in this conflict and has made great efforts
to achieve a peaceful settlement of the crisis. As much as we have
committed criminal acts against innocent civilians and their property in
the course of the last year, by extremists on both sides, we are equally
condemning these NATO attacks which do not differ at all from what we
have seen in Kosovo so far. In fact there is a danger that NATO bombing
produces far greater humanitarian crisis than the one we already have.
These inconsiderate actions will destabilize Balkans and possibly create
a European Vietnam which will obstruct the political and economical
processes in Europe for years ahead.

Unfortunately, many people in the West still live in illusion that their
super-powerful and precise air force is fighting against the FRY
military. The truth is that there are more and more civilian victims and
damages on exclusively non-military facilities. Therefore the Western
governments bear great responsibility for these criminal acts in front
of God and history.

The ironic statements that the goal of this operation is to prevent
suffering of civilians are absolutely hypocritical and tragic. President
Clinton speaks sweet words to the Serbian people while his bombers
mercilessly destroy schools, kinder-gardens and fill the hearts of
children with hatred against the peoples which they believed were their
friends and supporters of true peace and democracy.

It is not true that our country is against the peaceful solution of the
Kosovo conflict. The paper proposed by the Yugoslav delegation in Paris
granted full autonomy to Kosovo Albanians and all other national

Serb proposal:

The delegation also said that they were ready to accept certain kind of
international supervision. What our delegation did not accept and what
no one in this country can accept is secession of Kosovo and Metohija
from Serbia and Yugoslavia and occupation by NATO forces. There is not a
single country in the world which would accept such terms. Therefore the
claim by Mr. Clinton and others that our country is against negotiations
and peace are not true. The truth is that we cannot accept
disintegration of our country, not even under the threats of NATO
missiles and bombers. I am always ready to ask for my fellow Albanian
neighbors the same rights which Serbs and all others in this country
have, but neither me nor anyone in our Church can accept that Kosovo is
given into the hands of Albanian extremists who have already cleansed
50% of Kosovo from Serbs and other non-Albanian ethnic groups, who kill
our children in cafes and our farmers working in fields. Unfortunately,
openly supporting the Albanian separatists NATO is not supporting
suffering civilians on all sides, as it so proudly said, but exclusively
those forces both among Albanians and Serbs who want more war and blood.

It is true that Kosovo has many refugees and many times we have urged
responsible on both sides to stop their violence and let the people go
back to their homes. But the West forgets that in Serbia there are
600.000 refugees who are now directly endangered by NATO bombs.

In the name of God and my fellow Albanian and Serb neighbors I make a
strong appeal on all people of good will to stop these barbarous attacks
immediately. The peace is not built by deaths of innocent children and
pride of the mighty ones.

Fr. Sava

(Please share this appeal with your friends and all you know)

Decani Monastery               tel +381 390 61543
38322 Decani, Serbia           fax +381 390 61567    e-mail: [email protected]

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