Mother of gunned down Serb teen outraged by Thaci's gesture

The mother of Ivan Jovovic, a Serb teenager gunned down in Gorazdevac in Kosovo, has "sent back a wreath" left at her son's grave by Hashim Thaci.

Source: Sputnik
(Getty Images, file, illustration purposes)
(Getty Images, file, illustration purposes)

Ivan Jovovic was shot and killed, along with 12-year-old Pantelija Dakic, while spending the day on the bank of the Bistrica River on August 13, 2003. Four others, aged 12 to 20, were wounded during the attack.

"It (Thaci's visit) affected me more than that August 13 (the anniversary of the murders), when we visited the cemetery. He killed our children, and now he's come to 'decorate' our children," Senka Jovovic told Sputnik.

Thaci, who now serves as Kosovo's president, recently visited a memorial raised to honor the victims and laid a bouquet of white flowers.

"If he wanted to act humane, he should have come to us and told us who the killers of our children are, bring them over and show them to us, the parents," said Jovovic, adding:

"But, the person who brought him (Thaci) - and I'll find out who it was - I blame them more than Thaci. Perhaps they could not have prevented him, but they could have informed the parents and said somebody from the Kosovo government was coming to our children's graves, so that we can show up too. Now - would he have managed to get there and lay those flowers - he certainly would not. Over my dead body only. When I heard that he did that... only a person who has been through the same as I can understand what I went through."

Sputnik said that Jovovic tore apart the flowers left by Thaci and trampled on them, and took them to the local police station the next day, with the intention of "sending them back to Thaci."

"I waited alone two hours for somebody to take pity and come over and tell me what to do. When a policeman finally showed up, he said the police had nothing to do with it. They said they were not couriers to be returning flowers, and that neither I nor my home had been physically assaulted... And I asked them: 'If I were to spit on somebody here, would you arrest me?' They replied, 'Yes, because yo would have attacked an official person.' But what about me? What am I to do? I have not been physically attacked, but they hurt me in my heart. They hurt me where they should not have done," the murdered teenager's mother said.

In the end, she put the flowers in a bag and hanged it on the door of the person she suspects is responsible for enabling Thaci to come to Gorazdevac.

President of the Interim Council of Gorazdevac Milos Dimitrijevic said that nobody informed them about Thaci's visit to the village. Moreover, he said he was "taken aback" by the fact several local Serbs, "close to the Serb party the SLS," joined Thaci in a local tavern for a beer - "and Thaci afterwards ordered an extra case for them."

"Everyone has condemned Hashim Thaci's act, while as the Municipal Council we issued a statement concerning his unannounced visit, that came only two days after the marking of the anniversary of the killing of the Serb children, and the Serb delegation's visit," said Dimitrijevic.

This was not the first time that Thaci has visited a place of suffering of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija. Previously, he laid a wreath at a memorial raised to honor 14 Serb farmers gunned down in their fields in Staro Gracko, in 1999.

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