by Vesna IVANOVSKA
Kodijanov asked that a police checkpoint be established in the church so that experts can start conservation of the monastery.
"We asked the UNESCO office in Sarajevo to set up a new monitoring scheme for the monument. We shall visit the church again next week. In principle everyone is expressing good will to save the monument, including the local authorities and the [ethnic Albanian] mayor of Lipkovo. Last year we requested OSCE protection for two days to board up all the entrances to the church.
"However, after the changes of the Constitution and the Amnesty Law we asked that a police checkpoint be established in the monastery, so that experts can start conservation.
"Officially, there is no one there, but it is common knowledge, although no one is willing to acknowledge that, that the site is not safe during daytime, let alone at night," Kondijanov says.
New damage occurred during two days since the last visit of the Institute team to the church. According to available information, the situation is now catastrophic. Someone used pickaxes to "attack" the frescos and inflicted irreplaceable and irreversible damage. The residences next to the monastery church have been stripped bare. Villagers say that hundreds of suspicious individuals can be seen moving near the monastery.
Jasmina Zisovska, who worked on the conservation of the church fifteen years ago, stated the following for our daily:
"This has happened since UNESCO announced that the church was under its protection. I am dumbfounded and still cannot believe that this happened after the end of the fighting".
Matejce Monastery is located 9 kilometers from the homonymous village. Albanian terrorists occupied the monastery on May 3, 2001. The main church in the monastery, "Resurrection of the Holly Mother of God" dates from the fourteenth century and has been famous for its unique frescoes.
Due to its architecture and frescoes, the church in Matejce is one of the most valuable and most important monuments of Byzantine culture as one of few richly decorated temples from that period, with numerous compositions and figures, with unique iconography.
Two days ago, in the morning, the rich history of violence in Tetovo got a new chapter. A random passerby was gravely wounded while passing in his car about fifty meters from the alternative headquarters of the PDSh, the restaurant "Dora".
The first information indicates that the bodyguards of the PDSh deputy president, Menduh Thaci, shot from handguns at the passerby, who was hit by a bullet in the chest.
Who is responsible for security in Tetovo today? Whose armed men are judges who make swift decisions? To whom can a citizen turn if he is attacked? Until when are we supposed to wait for the armed bandits to come to their senses and abandon arms so that we can try to rebuild life, if they have already decided that coexistence is impossible? These questions pose themselves daily, and the only answer is that everything taking place in Tetovo is simply barbarism.
In civilized societies there is no place for terrorism and for violence such as the one taking place in Tetovo almost every other night. Consequently, Ali Ahmeti should dedicate much more effort to spreading of tolerance, educating the population about the harmful nature of illegal trade with weapons, drugs and women, modernizing patriarchal attitudes of Albanian women, because ethnic Albanians are globally probably one of the nations with the strongest gender based discrimination.
If Ahmeti truly wants to promote democratic values, he should reveal the true nature of nationalism and religious intolerance, instead of being only concerned about how he will move his all-Albanian headquarters from unsafe Tetovo.
It is absurd that someone who demands more rights at the same time violates the most basic human right, that of freedom of movement. Less than half of villages in the Tetovo and Kumanovo regions are accessible to the official Macedonian security forces. That is the result of Ahmeti's democratic push, which is daily picking up new demands. Whoever sets this demands, even if he is an ordinary village idiot, becomes an obstacle for the state institutions only because he is an ethnic Albanian. Well, that is the big victory coming from the most recent revolution of "our children". True, now Ahmeti is raising his voice against groups that "are not working for he good of the Albanian people". He is right and it is good that he is reacting in that way. But, that is not enough, because he created those groups, they came from under his coat, and now all of us are suffering.
Will the international community ask Ahmeti these questions or will those armed drags end up in Skopje, where the new leader intends to move the Coordination Council? Should all of us become hostages of unsettled accounts?