Serbs visit desecrated cemetery in southern Kosovska Mitrovica (Tanjug)
March 9, 2013 | 13:53
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA — Serbs from northern Kosovska Mitrovica on Saturday visited graves of their loved ones in the southern part of the town.
The cemetery has been desecrated and almost all tombstones have been destroyed.
The Serbs came by buses and were accompanied by Kosovo police. There were no incidents during the visit.
Archpriest Milija Arsović who held a memorial service for the dead reiterated that Serbs have not been buried in the southern part of the town since 1999 and stressed that tombstones and the dead have been targeted by vandals for almost 14 years.
“We found more anguish, sorrow and pain because not only have they torn down tombstones but because you can see they are taking away marble slabs in order to exterminate any trace of the cross,” he said.
Albanians and Roma from the southern part of the town sell metal parts of the cemetery’s fence and use marble slabs to pave their yards.
Many Serbs therefore decide to exhume their loved ones and bury them in the village of Rudare or in central Serbia.
March 10, 2013 | 14:41
ISTOK, PEĆ — Serbian government’s Kraljevo-based Office for Kosovo on Sunday organized a visit to cemeteries in towns of Istok and Peć for displaced Serbs.
Both cemeteries have been desecrated.
In the town of Istok, where only several Serb families still live, more than 100 tombstones have been damaged and completely destroyed.
“A decade of madness cannot defeat centuries,” said Kraljevo-based Office for Kosovo Director Aleksandar Erac.
“In Istok, mad people had no respect for anyone, everyone’s tombstones were destroyed, regardless of the dead people’s age,” he added.
The displaced Serbs lit candles and laid flowers to the graves of their loved ones.
The cemetery in Peć, one of the largest Orthodox cemeteries in Kosovo, has been turned into a landfill where Albanians throw their garbage, the office stressed.
“Cow heads scattered around once paved paths warn of misdoings of those whose alleged independence is recognized by more than 90 countries,” Erac noted.
Vandals destroyed not only tombstones but also marble slabs and coffins and many bodies of the deceased are missing.
Erac stressed that the perpetrators wanted to erase century-long existence of the Serbian people in Kosovo by desecrating the cemeteries.