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<nettime> (Fwd) Radio Kontakt editor fighting for life after Pristina sh
Ivo Skoric on Fri, 23 Jun 2000 07:15:16 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> (Fwd) Radio Kontakt editor fighting for life after Pristina sh


>From Anem and The Independent on the horribly law-less situation 
in the present day Kosov {AT} .
ivo


------- Forwarded Message Follows -------

ANEM statement

Radio Kontakt editor fighting for life after Pristina shooting

BELGRADE, June 21, 2000 -- The Association of Independent Electronic
Media expresses shock and the strongest outrage at yesterday's shooting
of Valentina Cukic, the editor of the Serbian language program on
Pristina's multi-ethnic Radio Kontakt.  The Association is particularly
astonished that Cukic was shot in the centre of Pristina while wearing
KFOR press identification.

Cukic was shot and seriously wounded in Mother Theresa Street in the
central city on Tuesday night.  Her companion was also shot three times
in the leg.  KFOR spokesman Scott Slaiten said today that a KFOR soldier
and a local OSCE activists who were at the scene gave first aid and took
them to a British field hospital.  Slaiten told media that Cukic was in
a stable condition after surgery and that UN civilian police were
investigating the incident.

ANEM offers its full support to the staff of Radio Kontakt.  The
Association also appeals to the international community in Kosovo, above
all KFOR, UNMIK and the UN administrator, Bernard Kouchner, to do all in
their power to bring the attackers to justice and to prevent such
incidents in the future.

ANEM reiterates that conditions must be secured for the free and safe
work of journalists in Kosovo, particularly those journalists who are
professionally committed to promoting the principles of reconciliation
and community harmony in the present circumstances.  This is one of the
imperatives for the creation of a multiethnic and democratic society.


--- mediawatch {AT} freeb92.net is a moderated list for distribution of
information on the media situation in Yugoslavia.

This will usually consist of a weekly update from ANEM which will most
often be sent on Mondays.  Further information on the media in
Yugoslavia is available at: www.freeb92.net

===========================================


INDEPENDENT 'CITY-LIFE' COLUMN

PRISTINA - The first thing you notice in Pristina that
tells you that something has gone badly wrong are the
crowds. Then you see the red and white UN police
Toyotas, then the yellow and black plastic tape
marking off the area. Finally there's the the prowling
camouflage of British infantrymen from the Royal
Regiment of Fusiliers, the red and white feathered
hackles on their berets rising above the gathering
crowd of local Kosova Albanians.

Trouble in Pristina comes fast, violently and often,
and almost always involves the deadly triple equation
of automatic weapons, organised crime and ethnic
hatred.

On Tuesday night this week two Serb women in their
mid-twenties were strolling through the bustle of
Mother Theresa Avenue, the city's central
thoroughfare. It was nine-thirty pm. The temperature
on the boulevard, lined with lime trees, had dropped
from thirty degrees at lunchtime to the cool of the
evening. Two unidentified gunmen opened fire on both
women, hitting one in the chest, and one in the legs.
Totally ignored by Kosova Albanians crowding down the
street, they staggered bleeding into the arms of a
British soldier. Their crime: being Serb.

Pristina is a city of bombed appartment blocks and
pavement cafes, of patriotic Kosovan songs blaring
from speakers on every corner. It's a city where
people walk in the road so they can park on the
pavement, where the idea of responsibility and
community spirit has been trampled on first by decades
of communism, then by the Serbs, and now by the
short-sighted demands of the fast buck.

Life is bustling, dusty, hot, vibrant and chaotic.
Here money can buy you anything from a kebab to a
carpet to a customised Kalashnikov. Since the arrival
of NATO and the UN a year ago, and the subsequent
departure of Serb forces, the pushy and
freshly-liberated Kosova Albanian population has
realised that they can do pretty much what they want.

The UN civilian police from countries like Austria,
Jordan, Holland, Latvia, Ulster and Malaysia are up to
their eyes with ethnic killings, organised crime and
civil disorder. What are they going to do, think the
joy-riding, women-beating, hair-gelled teenage Kosovan
wideboys in their stolen BMWs and souped-up Opels, if
they drive around the city like maniacs and refuse to
obey the rules?

With liberation from an oppressive, ethnocidal regime
like that of the Serbs, Kosova Albanians are having to
swallow the bitter pill of international medecine. The
problem is that they are increasingly gagging on the
spoon. They don't see why they should be grateful any
more to their armed liberators, with their strange
insistence on democracy, international standards,
tolerance and mutual respect.

The honey-moon period for NATO, the UN and Kosovo is
so long over that everybody has almost forgotten that
it ever existed. And on the streets of Pristina it's
gone rotten so fast that you can smell it.

NATO peacekeepers are attacked by those they are here
to protect, UN policemen threatened because they have
the audacity to try and crack down on the organised
crime that contaminates everybody's lives. One boiling
hot morning a half-kilo of plastic explosive with a
timing-device is left under a car opposite UN and
British Army headquarters in Pristina. Who's
responsible? Nobody knows. It could be Serbs, it could
be Albanians.

Earlier on in the week, a walk home from dinner at one
am reveals a familiar sight outside the UN
headquarters. Police cars, the all-too-familiar tape,
the crouching British soldiers scoping the crossroads
through telescopic sights. Cartridge cases all over
the road, a crashed car. A political hit? A mafia
rub-out? No. Just a killing prompted between a bunch
of teenagers with guns, arguing over who scratched
who's car.

The older generation of Albanians, with their rigid
standards of hospitality, their traditions, their
ordered style of life, deserve more than this. And so
do Kosovan women, who keep house, increasingly bring
home the bacon, and represent the economic and social
future of Kosovo.

But all their good is submerged beneath all the bad of
an upcoming male population aged between sixteen to
twenty-five, largely without work, without hope, and
with nothing to look up to except a furiously corrupt
Kosova Albanian political system and an international
community that is rapidly ceasing to care.


END

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