What’s enough is enough, the mayor of Decani, Bashkim Ramosaj wrote on Facebook after the Kosovo Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti decided to suspend works on the Decani-Plav road in the protective zone of the monastery Visoki Decani. Ramosaj demanded a solution for the new situation from the Prime Minister. He also addressed a 15-point letter to Kosovo officials, in which he presented his view of the problems and solutions to the dispute between the municipality of Decani and monastery Visoki Decani.
„When the operation is suspended, appropriate solutions should be provided, Mr. Prime Minister. I am sorry that you are prolonging the problems created 20 years ago at this time,“ Ramosaj told Hoti.
While underlining that he is only sending a warning today, the Decani mayor indicated that „the state must solve the catastrophe it created in Decani.“
Ramosaj asks the government to build the road within the SPZ, monastery to be protected by the Kosovo Police…
The Decani mayor, Bashkim Ramosaj addressed the President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, the Speaker of the Assembly, Vjosa Osmani, and the Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti regarding the dispute with the monastery.
Ramosaj sent a 15-point letter to the Pristina officials, in which he presented his view of the problems and solutions to the dispute between the municipality of Decani and the monastery of Visoki Decani. He also stressed that the road will be built “in any way”.
In order to end the dispute with the monastery of Visoki Decani, among other things, Ramosaj proposed to the central institutions in Kosovo to adopt fifteen solutions, including allowing the construction of a road within the protective zone and for KFOR, which currently guards and monitors the monastery of Visoki Decani, to be replaced by the Kosovo Police. He also proposed amendments to the Law on National Park and its harmonization with the interests of the municipality and citizens.
Ramosaj also presented four legal documents which, in his words, had a negative impact on the development of the municipality:
The Law on Special Protective Zones, the decision to return 24 ha of land to the monastery Visoki Decani, the 2014 decision on the construction of the bypass of the main road Decani-Plav around the protective zone, but also the Law on National Parks.
Janjic: The bypass is the only solution
On Sunday night, the abbot of the monastery Visoki Decani, Sava Janjic recalled the decision regarding the construction of the road between Decani-Plav in the protected zone of the monastery.
“The bypass road around the Special protective zone of the Monastery would make it possible to normally continue the works on the Decani-Plav highway. The local road through the Protective zone would remain of special character, with restrictions for heavy traffic, speed and with appropriate width. This solution was supported by international representatives in Kosovo, the Monastery and the then Prime Minister Thaci in 2014. In fact, this is the only solution within the existing law on Special Protective zones,” Janjic said.
The abbot reiterated that the monastery has never been against the road to Plav, adding that they, as well as international representatives, could not support the violation of the law on Special protective zones.
“Accusing the Monastery that the road construction in the Zone depends on us is absurd. After all, this is the law approved by the Kosovo Parliament and the local institutions are supposed to work on its implementation and not on its violation,” the abbot added.
Decisions on construction can be made only with the consent of the multi-member Commission for Protective Zones, whose members are representatives of the EU Office in Kosovo, the OSCE Mission, Kosovo’s Ministers of Spatial Planning and Culture, and the Bishop of Raska and Prizren. In the case of the main road between Decani-Plav, the Commission did not give consent for the construction of the road, instead a bypass route around the SPZ had been agreed.
Previously, the Kosovo Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti requested the suspension of the works on the Decani-Plav road – the section of the road that especially affects the protective zone of the Visoki Decani.
The Self-Determination movement also reacted to this decision of the Kosovo Prime Minister last night, alleging that „Vucic makes demands, and Hoti and his partners are implementing them.“
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic previously criticized the continuation of works on the Decani-Plav road in the protective zone. Vucic also said that he would ask for a permanent suspension of works at the next meeting in Brussels.
After Pristina media reported that construction of the Decani-Plav road had been stopped by KFOR, this information was confirmed by the mayor of Decani, who revealed it was done at Hoti’s request. Ramosaj also underlined that it was a temporary suspension, that is, that the works were only stopped until Monday.
The Kosovo Prime Minister requested the suspension of construction due to the impact of a section of this road on the protective zone of the Visoki Decani monastery. Hoti’s decision was met with criticism.
„The legislation adopted by the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo must be respected, as well as the decision of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo,“ the Pristina government wrote in a statement yesterday, emphasizing that Hoti also „appreciates the vital importance this road has for citizens.”
The Diocese of Raska and Prizren announced on Thursday that, despite the ban on the construction of highways and transit roads through special protective zones in Kosovo, works on the main road Decani-Plav near the monastery Visoki Decani have continued. The construction works are being carried out by the Kosovo local authorities in Decani, together with the support of the Pristina authorities. The Decani clergy have been opposing the construction of the road passing through the protective zone for the last six years. The Diocese of Raska and Prizren once again sent an appeal to international representatives and official Belgrade.
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