Kosovo’s progress continues apace on the eve of independence declaration:

Serb cemetery desecrated in Kosovo

GNJILANE — Unidentified perpetrators have desecrated a Serb cemetery in the village of Gornji Livoč near Gnjilane Saturday. Tanjug quoted the Serbian state television report that at least seven headstones were damaged. The desecration of Serb cemeteries in the province has been an ongoing phenomenon.

Kosovo Police Service (KPS) carried out the crime scene investigation, but nothing was said about who the perpetrators may be. In another incident directed against the Kosovo Serbs yesterday, a group of Kosovo Albanians stoned the vehicle belonging to Slaviša Stanković, near the village of Dobričane on the Bujanovac-Gnjilane road at about 3 p.m. No one was injured in the incident.

I’ve previously posted about all the desecrated and destroyed Serbian cemeteries dotting Kosovo, as well as about the fact that because Serbs are unable to visit their dead safely, they’re digging them up and moving them to Serbia. The book Hiding Genocide in Kosovo also gives several examples of the fact that even dead Serbs provoke the Albanians. Here is one:

Radmila Savic is the last Serb living in Peyton Place in central Pristina. Up until 1999 it was a predominantly Serbian suburb of the city. She is a 90 year old woman who is trying to live out her last years in peace on this earth with the hope that she can be buried with her husband in the Orthodox Christian cemetery graveyard in the city. She is sure of neither.

One day last year when I dropped in to visit her I discovered her in an anxious state. Albanian children were outside throwing stones at the house and shouting in at her. She locked her gate and her door but the shouting of the young children continued, “Gotovo Gotovo - It is all over”.

Radmila has had no problem with her old Albanian neighbours and never had. However the children throwing the stones are the children of newcomers to the locality and they constantly hurl insults if not stones at the house as well as spraying the wall with graffiti from time to time.

I first met Radmila in the village of Velika Hoca in Orahovec municipality in the year 2003 at the Serbian harvest festival. She was travelling with a KFOR escort and that first time she asked me for help as she wished to be buried with her husband Mladen Savic, who died in 1995. Her normal sounding request was not so normal at all given the circumstances in Pristina. She wished to be buried alongside her late husband in the Orthodox Christian graveyard, which has been the target of persistent attacks and vandalism since June 1999. Apparently, she was confused by the responses she received from UNMIK, expecting to be refused permission to be buried there. Apparently to be buried there is seen as a provocation to ethnic Albanians, but it seems that no one sees the continual vandalism of Christian graves or churches by Albanians as provocation. Incidentally, the old Jewish graveyard adjacent to the Orthodox graveyard has also been vandalised.

Just a note on the mention at the top of this post of the town Gnjilane, which by now should be a familiar name to anyone reading this blog. It’s come up here, here and here. And I neglected to mention last month’s Gnjilane incident:

Shots fired again at Serb house near Gnjilane

GNJILANE, Nov 1 (Tanjug) - Humanitarian organization Decija Radost (Children’s Joy) director Zoran Maksimovic said on Thursday that his house, near Gnjilane in Kosovo-Metohija, came under fire late on Wednesday, but that no one was injured in the incident.

Maksimovic told Tanjug that five shots were fired at his house in the ethnically mixed village of Gornji Livoc near Gnjilane and that the windows were smashed and there were bullet holes in the walls of his home…Kosovo Police Service spokesman for the region of Gnjilane Ismet Hasani told Tanjug that a Kosovo Serb from the village of Gornji Livoc in the municipality of Gnjilane reported to the police early on Thursday a shooting incident at his house…[Hasani said], “six more bullet shells, believed to have been fired from automatic guns, were found around 50 meters away from the house.”

This isn’t the first attack on Maksimovic, as this blog entry from September reminds us:

Early on Thursday, unidentified perpetrators fired shots at the house of Zoran Maksimovic…This is not the first attack on him or on his family, Maksimovic said. Unidentified persons fired shots at him earlier as well, he said, when he was in an automobile, and, in a separate incident, unknown perpetrators killed his dog.

Why are the Albanian residents who now dominate Gnjilane so fixated on Maksimovic? Doesn’t Gnjilane have any other Serbs left to kill?