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Serb People's Council of Kosovo and Metohija condemns murder of Klina returnee

GRACANICA/KLINA, June 22, 2006 (BETA) - The Serb People's Council of Kosovo and Metohija on June 21 called on international representatives and Kosovo institutions to condemn the murder of the returnee to Klina, Dragan Popovic, and warned that their failure to do so would mean that they "approve of violence against the Serbs."

The Council fiercely condemned the "hideous" murder of Popovic and strongly protested against "the failure of a part of the international community and KFOR to secure a safe environment for the Serbs, especially the returnees who have expressed a wish to return to their homes."

"It was not by chance that this incident took place on Refugees' Day, at the time the U.N. Security Council was having a session on Kosovo and Metohija," the Serb People's Council stated.

Serb returnees to Klina, in western Kosovo, on June 21 demanded from the municipal and international authorities to provide maximum security and protection for them, and warned that they would leave their homes in case of one more murder.

Companies from round 15 of privatization sold

PRISTINA, June 22, 2006 (BETA) - In Kosovo on June 21, 22 socially owned companies were sold within the 15th round of privatization, for the total of EUR12 million.

The biggest price at the auction was offered for the company Kosovo Vino from Prizren, which was sold for EUR2.7 million, to the employees and management of the company.

According to Kirk Adams, the director for privatization of the Kosovo Trust Agency, 263 former socially owned companies have been privatized so far.

Of this number, sale contracts were signed for 143 companies, while the remaining deals will be finalized after the origin of money and other information important for the signing of contracts are established.

Buyers of other companies at this auction are still not known, because they are identified by code, and their identity will be announced in the next few days.

Construction of Kosovo C to be finalized by 2012

PRISHTINA, June 22, 2006 (KosovaLive) – Kosovo’s Ministry of Energy and Mining (MEM) and UNMIK Pillar IV promised on Wednesday that by the beginning of the next year they will select the first private investor in the area of energy in Kosovo, whereas they will finalize the construction of the new power plant by 2012.

They made these comments in a press meeting, where they explained the policies of the private sector inclusion in the Kosovar power generation capacities. They said that the first private investments in mines will take place in 2008, whereas the finalization of the financial package of this project will end in 2009.

U.N. Charter must be respected, says Draskovic

PARIS, June 21, 2006 (BETA) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic called on the international community on June 20 to send a clear message to the Kosovo Albanians, that the U.N. Charter must be respected.

Speaking before members of parliament of the Western European Union, Draskovic said Serbia did not want to rule Kosovo and that the Albanian majority would have all authority with two obligations - to protect the rights of the Serbs and other minorities and to respect the state borders of Serbia under its present name.

He added that Serbia was prepared to a compromise regarding the borders, which would exist only on paper, but not in reality. "We want the borders to be bridges in Kosovo, not a minefield or a wall," Draskovic told the western European parliamentarians.

Final contour of Kosovo at U.N. Security Council session, analysts say

PRISTINA, June 21, 2006 (BETA) - Analysts in Kosovo stated that the final contour of the status of Kosovo was presented at the U.N. Security Council session, while the Serb representatives believe this was a confirmation of the fact that the status would be set before the implementation of standards.

"When one looks at the continuity of status, then this session has presented, including the meeting at which Martti Ahtisaari will submit his report, the so-called final contour of the status of Kosovo," political analyst Baton Haxhiu said.

However, the deputy chairwoman of the Serb People's Council, Rada Trajkovic, believes that the Security Council meeting demonstrated the international community's determination to proceed with the setting of the status without the implementation of standards.

Analyst Skelzen Maliqi said the Security Council session completed the seven-year period of UNMIK rule, and that very soon, maybe even next week, the Security Council would make a step towards the solving of the status of Kosovo.

Jessen-Petersen turning blind eye to murders of Serbs, Djuric says

BELGRADE, June 21, 2006 (BETA) - The director of the Serbian government's Public Relations Bureau, Srdjan Djuric, criticized the outgoing UNMIK chief, Soren Jessen-Petersen, in the evening of June 20, for his stands about incidents against the Serbs and other minorities in Kosovo and Metohija.

"The outgoing UNMIK chief today (June 20) before the U.N. Security Council contested the stands of the chairwoman of the Coordinating Center, Sanda Raskovic-Ivic, and her clear warning that the Serbs and other minorities in Kosovo and Metohija were in a very difficult situation," Djuric told BETA.

In his words, while the Security Council session was still going on, "while Jessen-Petersen was lightly dismissing the facts, news came about the discovery of the dead body of Dragan Popovic from Klina, and that he was killed by firearms."

He added that news of another incident came soon after that - about the desecration and destruction of more than 30 Serb tombstones in Staro Gracko.

"What is appalling is the cruelty with which Jessen-Petersen is turning a blind eye when the Serbs are being murdered and their holy sites desecrated," said the chief of the government's PR bureau, raising a question on why the Serbs in the province were still being murdered and why these crimes remain unpunished.

Government pledges commitment for return of all refugees home

PRISHTINA, June 21 2006 (KosovaLive) -On World Refugees Day Kosovo Government said that despite the limited budget, it has managed to provide conditions for return, and pledged that it will work even harder for returning of all of them refugees home.

The Government said that it is committed to create conditions for return of all to return to their properties.

“We share the pain and sufferings with all those who are refugees and displaced persons with the hope and wish that they will find strength to keep alive their hopes until the day when their status as a refugee ends and when they return to their homes to begin a new life,” the Government stated in a press release.

Dead Serb found in Klina

KLINA, June 21, 2006 (BETA) - Police in Klina found a dead body of a Kosovo Serb on June 20, and announced that the dead man was 68 years old.

According to a police statement sent to BETA, the police and the public prosecutor are investigating.

Serb returnees in Klina told BETA that the body was that of Dragan Popovic, who returned in mid-last year. "His body was found in his home," BETA was told by the Serbs in Klina, adding that they were waiting for the results of the investigation and autopsy.

Political parties dissatisfied, surveyors say they did their job

PRISHTINA, June 21 2006 (KosovaLive) -Opposition parties (PDK and ORA) accuse Kosovar research institutions Index Kosovo and Gani Bobi for subjectivity in their recent research on the political rating, whereas the coalition parties (LDK and AAK) evaluate these reports as objective and realistic.

Index Kosovo and Gani Bobi carried out two separate surveys, which show that coalition parties and the representatives of the coalition partners are leading in the list of the popular personalities in Kosovo. Based on these reports, the two opposition leaders Hashim Thaci and Veton Surroi are ranked in the last place.

This is the reason why the opposition parties have reacted. They have described these reports as unprofessional and directed by the coalition partners. They have also accused those two organizations of supporting the corruption in Kosovo. “These are not serious, neutral and objective surveys,” reads a statement issued by the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK).
The Director of Index Kosovo, Visar Berisha denied that his organization is influenced by any political party. He told KosovaLive that the latest report is very objective.

Turkish Theater – winner of Festival

FERIZAJ, June 21,2006 (KosovaLive) – Romeo and Juliet again drama played by Turkish Theater of Prizren won the first prize in the festival of Kosovo theaters.

This drama directed by Nafis Gjurgjeali won the prize for the best actor, best actress and the award of public.

Kacanik City’s Theater won the second prize.

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Speech by Don Shan Zefi, Chancellor

Opening of Interfaith Conference on Peaceful Coexistence and Dialogue
Monastery of Pec Patriarchate
Peja / Pec, May 2 - 3, 2006

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