Exodus of Serbians stirs province in

      The New York Times, July 12, 1982

   By MARVINE HOWE, Special to the New York

   PRISTINA, Yugoslavia

   Danilo Krstic and his family are hardworking wheat and tobacco
   farmers, Serbs who get along with their Albanian neighbors.

   ''You have to love the place where you live to stay on the land
   here,'' Marko Krstic, the oldest son, told visitors to the farm at
   Bec, a few miles from the Albanian border. There have been no
   serious troubles between Serbians and Albanians in Bec, but
   Serbs in some of the neighboring villages have reportedly been
   harassed by Albanians and have packed up and left the region.

   The exodus of Serbs is admittedly one of the main problems that
   the authorities have to contend with in Kosovo, an autonomous
   province of Yugoslavia inhabited largely by Albanians.

   Rioting Brought Awareness

   Last year's riots, in which nine people were killed, shocked not
   only the troubled province of Kosovo but also the entire country
   into an awareness of the problems of this most backward part of
   Yugoslavia, which is made up of many ethnic groups.

   In June a 43-year-old Serb, Miodrag Saric, was shot and killed
   by an Albanian neighbor, Ded Krasnici, in a village near
   Djakovica, 40 miles southwest of Pristina, according to the
   official Yugoslav press agency Tanyug. It was the second
   murder of a Serb by an Albanian in Kosovo this year. The
   dispute reportedly started with a quarrel over damage done to a
   field belonging to the Saric family.

   The local political and security bodies condemned the murder as
   ''a grave criminal act'' that could have serious repercussions,
   according to the press agency. Five members of the Krasnici
   family have been arrested and investigations are continuing.

   The authorities have responded at various levels to the violence
   in Kosovo, clearly trying to avoid antagonizing the Albanian
   majority. Besides firm security measures, action has been taken
   to speed political, educational and economic changes.

   Past Errors Acknowledged

   Privately, some officials acknowledge that the rise of Albanian
   nationalism in a society that is based on the principle of the
   equality of nationalities is the result of past errors - at first neglect
   and discrimination, and more recently failure to act against
   divisive forces or even recognize them.

   ''The nationalists have a two-point platform,'' according to Becir
   Hoti, an executive secretary of the Communist Party of Kosovo,
   ''first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian
   republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater
   Albania. ''

   Mr. Hoti, an Albanian, expressed concern over political
   pressures that were forcing Serbs to leave Kosovo. ''What is
   important now,'' he said, ''is to establish a climate of security and
   create confidence.''

   The migration of Serbs is no ordinary problem becuase Kosovo
   is the heartland of Serbian history, culture and religion. Serbs
   have been in this region since the seventh century, long before
   they founded their own independent dynasty here in 1168.

   57,000 Have Left Region

   Some 57,000 Serbs have left Kosovo in the last decade, and
   the number increased considerably after the riots of March and
   April last year, according to Vukasin Jokanovic, another
   executive secretary of the Kosovo party.

   Mr. Jokanovic, former president of the Commission on
   Migration set up after last year's disturbances, said the cause of
   Serbian migration was ''essentially of a political nature.''

   The commission has given four basic reasons for the departures:
   social-economic, normal migration from this underdeveloped
   area, an increasingly adverse social-political climate and direct
   and indirect pressures.

   Mr. Jokanovic, a Serb, called the pressures disturbing and said
   they included personal insults, damage to Serbian graves and the
   burning of hay, cutting down wood and other attacks on
   property to force Serbs to leave.

   The 1981 census showed Kosovo with a population of
   1,584,558, of whom 77.5 percent were ethnic Albanians, 13.2
   percent Serbs and 1.7 percent Montenegrins. The population in
   1971 of 1,243,693 was 73.8 percent Albanian, 18.4 percent
   Serbian and 2.5 percent Montenegrin.

   Ex-Defense Minister Concerned

   In a recent visit to Kosovo, Nikola Ljubcic, head of the Serbian
   Presidency and a former Minister of Defense, expressed
   particular concern about the continuing exodus of Serbs.

   ''An ethnically clean Kosovo will always be cause for instability,''
   Mr. Ljubicic said, adding that Yugoslavia ''will never give up one
   foot of her land.''

   Conversations with Serbs and Albanians in different parts of the
   province showed that that they were generally troubled about
   the Serbian migration but did not know what to do about it.
   Some people described it as ''psychological warfare'' but were
   at a loss to explain who was at fault.

   In Pristina, the provincial capital, with its skyscrapers and
   bustling streets, people said they felt relatively secure because
   the authorities maintained ''a close watch.'' Although the army
   remains at a distance and has not had to intervene, there is a
   strong militia presence.

   Things appear relaxed on the Corso, Pristina's main street. As in
   other Yugoslav cities, every night from about 6 to 10 the main
   thoroughfare is closed to traffic and practically everyone turns
   out for a stroll, encounters and discussions.

   Different Sides of Street

   What is special about Pristina is that it has always been Serbs on
   one side of the street and Albanians on the other. Residents say
   Albanians have been encroaching on Serbian ''territory'' since
   the disturbances.

   After the crackdown on Albanian nationalists - about 300 have
   been sentenced - they are said to have changed tactics, moving
   to the villages, where there is less security control.

   In some mixed communities, there were reports of farmers being
   pressured to sell their land cheap and of Albanian shopkeepers
   refusing to sell goods to Serbs.

   ''We don't want to go because we have a large farm,'' a Serbian
   farmer's wife said in a village near Pristina. ''Our property hasn't
   been touched, but there are the insults and the intimidation, so
   we feel uncomfortable.'' Several neighbors have left, she said,
   and her own sons who were planning to build a new house have
   stopped ''to see how things will turn out.''

   There have been many changes since the riots, but most people
   in Pristina agree with Mr. Ljubicic that more could be done. The
   main thrust of the changes is economic. ''We're going to change
   the economic structures with more emphasis on agriculture, the
   processing industry, small business and handicrafts,'' Aziz
   Abrashi, the Economics Minister, said in an interview.

   ''Ninety-nine percent of the Albanians have no wish to live in
   Albania,'' Mr. Abrashi, an Albanian, said, ''but they view the rest
   of Yugoslavia and are aware of the higher living standards. Our
   young people want the same good life, the nice houses and cars,
   and they can't get them if they can't get jobs.''

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