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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service

    Odraz B92 vesti (by 12 midnight), February 12, 1997

    E-mail: odrazb92@b92.opennet.org, beograd@siicom.com
    WWW:    http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/, http://www.opennet.org/b92/
    All texts are Copyright 1997 Radio B92. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



    Dragan Tomic, Speaker of the Serbian Parliament said on Wednesday
    that the civil protests at the November electoral fraud were
    ``violent and threatening'' and stressed that ``there is no longer
    any reason for them to continue.''

    He said that the marches through parts of Belgrade were horrifying
    and that the demonstrations in cities of Serbia were by no means
    peaceful but threatening. He claimed that there had been many
    cases of demonstrators forcing their way into apartments owned by

    Mr Tomic said that most citizens ``did not accept the protests''
    but ``a militant part of the citizens'' did, insisting that
    sociologists and psychiatrists should analyse the goings-on in
    Serbia. He said that the protests would serve as a great
    experience and that the Government and the legal system would see
    to it that the law is implemented in the full against ``the

    Mr Tomic accused the leaders of the opposition coalition Zajedno
    of demanding a reimposition of international sanctions against
    Yugoslavia although the international community had not even
    mentioned such a possibility.


    Zajedno leaders told demonstrators in Republic Square on Wednesday
    that victory was at hand, but that it would be celebrated only
    once the special law on the recognition of local electoral results
    had been implemented.

    Vesna Pesic, told the crowd that the protests in Serbia had shown
    that there was an alternative to the ``incompetent, corrupt and
    outmoded regime.'' She said that the opposition victory in the
    local elections must be followed by its victory in the forthcoming
    presidential and parliamentary elections.

    Zoran Djindjic, another of the Zajedno leaders, said that the
    greatest accomplishment of the protests throughout Serbia was that
    ``communism had evaporated from people's heads, being kept alive
    only by a handful of criminals and thugs who are trying to remain
    in power at any cost.''

    Vuk Draskovic said that the opposition would not agree to a
    dialogue with the Government until all municipal and city
    assemblies where Zajedno had won had been constituted and the
    seats of all Zajedno deputies verified.


    The daily noise protest during state television's main news
    bulletin was accompanied on Wednesday by the launching of a red
    boat symbolising the departure of the Socialist government from
    the Yugoslav capital.

    Opposition leader Zoran Djindjic launched the Styrofoam boat onto
    the Danube with an effigy of the Serbian President at the helm. Mr
    Djindjic announced that the launching would be carried out
    annually to mark the ``day when the anti-urban ideology of
    communism left Belgrade.''  The column of the citizens who had
    come from Republic Square to attend the launching, returned
    peacefully for the Zajedno rally.


    The opposition coalition Zajedno will organize a ``home visit'' to
    Dragan Tomic, Speaker of the Serbian Parliament on Thursday. The
    visit will be made in order to present Mr Tomic with a gift
    symbolizing the civil protest in Serbia. Zajedno invited
    Belgraders to form a column of the ``militant group'' as Mr Tomic
    described them on Wednesday.


    Washington announced on Wednesday that it would soon reestablish
    high-level contacts with Belgrade if the Serbian Government
    implemented the special law the Serbian Parliament adopted on
    Tuesday, Slobodan Pavlovic reports for FoNet.

    Contact was discontinued a month ago as the sole measure the US
    Government thought would force Serbian President Slobodan
    Milosevic to recognize the opposition victories in the local

    US Assistant Secretary of State for human rights John Shattuck has
    announced that he will visit Belgrade next week. Mr Shattuck said
    that the main issue of his discussions in Belgrade would be the
    extradition of indicted war criminals to the Hague War Crimes

    Mr Shattuck also announced that he would bring up Yugoslavia's
    unmet obligations under the Dayton Accords. These included
    removing state control of media, preparations for free and fair
    elections in Serbia, and all other necessary steps towards
    democratization. He said these were the conditions for
    international sanctions against Yugoslavia having been lifted.

    Prepared by: Marija Milosavljevic
    Edited by: Steve Agnew

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    E-mail: odrazb92@b92.opennet.org, beograd@siicom.com
    WWW:    http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/, http://www.opennet.org/b92/

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