Friday, April 20, 2007

Weekend Wrap-up

Vetevendosje activists were busy this weekend spraying 8-UN vehicles with the Albanian word for murderer/killer (Vrases) in Pristina, Prizren, and Mitrovica.  38 people were detained and questioned in Gnjilane, Mitrovica and Prizren over the incidents.  Most of the vehicles were parked when the activists painted them but the one incident in Pristina occurred when the activists stopped a passing vehicle. 
Two children accidentally drowned in Gracanica Lake over the weekend.  At least one or two children drown in Kosovo's lakes or pools each year that I can recall.  The most common cause of the drowning is just lack of adult supervision.  An investigation is ongoing into the recent deaths. 

On Friday, an iman from Kacanik reported that unknown persons threw a Molotov cocktail on his vehicle and caused minor damages.  Over the weekend, one Albanian was arrested in conjunction with the attack and another is at large.

There were two electrical fires in Pristina and Lipjan due to illegal electrical connections.  Several meters of cabling was destroyed in the incidents.  Illegal connections to the electrical network is commonplace in Kosovo, especially during construction or in villages.  It is interesting to watch how the local population hooks up to the network...they take a long pole with a hook on the end and toss it over the power line.  The most important thing for them to remember is to let go before it friend witnessed what happens when they forget...not pretty.

On the topic of fires, there has been a series of forest fires in Kosovo.  A estimated 553 hectares of forest has been destroyed in the past two months.  The causes of the fires are both natural and man-made.  There is little education about fire prevention and some of the fires are thought to have been set accidentally or intentionally by humans.  Illegal woodcutting has also contributed to the problems.  The other factor having a lot of impact is the warm winter with relatively little snow.  The forests are a bit more dry than normal increasing the chances of fire.