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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    Odraz B92 vesti (by 4 PM), January 13, 1997

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

    NEWS BY 4 PM


    Belgian newspaper Libre Belgique has proposed University of
    Belgrade students for the Nobel Peace Prize. ``If the Nobel Prize
    still makes any sense, then it should be awarded to the Belgrade
    students,'' says the newspaper.


    A six-member delegation of the Student Protest 96/97 was admitted,
    after long negotiations, to the today's session of the Teaching
    Council of the University of Belgrade. Members of the delegation
    told the press that the students will table the following demands:

        1. That lectures of any kind be suspended until the student
        demands are accepted.

        2. Each faculty can compensate for the loss of lecture time
        according to its own specifications. Generally, we request
        make-up lectures as well as make-up exams.

        3. If the Student Protest lasts so long that it becomes
        impossible to make up for the loss of lecture time, we demand
        that students be given the opportunity to take their exams

        4. We appeal that students on scholarships are given a chance
        to settle their obligations after the beginning of the [next]

        5. We demand from the members of the Teaching Council, as well
        as from the faculties whose chairs did not comply with student
        demands, not to divide the student body but to enable their
        students to have make-up lectures, deferral of exams, and
        prevention of possible negative consequences for their
        participation in Student Protest 96/97.

    A member of the Steering Board of Student Protest 96/97 said that
    he had contacted the rector of the UofB in order to learn the
    procedure allowing for students' participation in the sessions of
    the Teaching Council. This is what he had to tell the press about
    that conversation: ``The rector told me that it is better for us
    not to come, lest he throw us out. As the reason, he mentioned
    that his resignation will not be discussed at the session.''
    Eventually, the student delegation was admitted to the session.
    The official agenda for the session focuses on the normalization
    of teaching at the University, reports Radio B92.


    President of Montenegro, Momir Bulatovic, has expressed hope for
    democratic and constructive compromise in Serbia. In his interview
    for the daily Blic, Bulatovic said: ``Regardless of the conflicts
    and the passions involved, a new atmosphere has emerged, a new
    spirit, a tolerance for the new sociological phenomenon which is
    somehow confusing for the people. Speaking long term, I think that
    Serbia will find itself within a democratic community.''  He
    mentioned that he is in constant contact with Belgrade ``because
    our Federal government is there'' and added: ``On the federal
    level, we discuss all topics, and above all, the repercussions of
    the current crisis in Serbia on the overall situation in
    Yugoslavia. I hope that a constructive compromise will be reached,
    and that demands which are common to all will be accepted.''  The
    demands are simple, Bulatovic explained: that the truth about the
    elections be firmly established and that political authority must
    belong the those elected by people.

    Bulatovic also observed that the OSCE report is very good for the
    authorities in Serbia, since it confirmed the victory of the
    Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) in the federal elections as well
    as in the local elections in the majority of constituencies.
    Montenegrin President noted that in Serbia ``[the use of] force is
    out of the question'' and pointed out that ``all parties involved
    in the conflict should bear in mind that the solution must be
    found as soon as possible, because the economic situation in the
    country is getting more complex.''  According to the data issued
    by the National Bank, a certain amount of new money has been
    released without any collateral, stated Bulatovic.


    The City Electoral Commission in Nis has sent its written decision
    to the coalition Zajedno, by which 8 of the disputed mandates are
    confirmed to have been won by Zajedno. However, Zajedno claims
    that 9 more mandates belong to them and that the supporters of
    Zajedno will organize a protest rally tonight, coinciding with the
    Orthodox New Year's Eve.


    President of the People's Party of Montenegro, Novak Kilibarda,
    has sent a new letter to Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic
    after Bulatovic rejected Kilibarda's previous proposal that the
    ruling Democratic Party of Socialists abandon its alliance with
    Serbian Socialists and join the democratic opposition in the
    federal Parliament.

    Here is an excerpt from Kilibarda's letter: ``I invited you to
    [join] the alliance of the democratic parties of Serbia and
    Montenegro not because I think you belong there, but because only
    your party has the constitutionally granted powers to influence
    the breaking of the autocrat rule of Slobodan Milosevic, who has
    been condemned by whole world. Behind your claim that the break-up
    between your and Milosevic's party would mean disrespecting the
    will of the citizens of Serbia lies your and Milosevic's
    conviction that legal actions are [defined as] those which suit
    the interests of your parties.''


    Today's issue of Nasa Borba, relying on well-informed sources,
    claims that the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) does not
    intend to recognize in full the results of the local elections
    from November 17.

    The paper says that the general strategy of the ruling party and
    the Yugoslav United Left (JUL) is a partial acceptance of
    students' demands, like the replacement of the rector and the
    student deputy rector. Their departure is expected in the next few
    days. The authorities estimate that the students, grateful for the
    acceptance of some of their demands and exhausted from the 8-week
    long protest, will withdraw from the streets. ``After that, the
    ''breaking`` of the demonstrations would be an easy job,'' says
    the source of the Belgrade daily Nasa Borba.


    Czech daily Lidove Novini today says that the opposition in Serbia
    is refusing all partial concessions and that it wants a thorough-
    going democratization of the political conditions in the country,
    a process which has the de-blocking of the media as its main
    demand. This newspaper, known as ``the newsletter of the
    intellectuals,'' says that the Serbian opposition expects half a
    million people tonight in the center of Belgrade. The most widely
    read Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes notes that the opposition has
    refused the offer to enter into some kind of a coalition
    government formed jointly with the present regime. The Belgrade
    correspondent of the daily Pravo reports that the role of the
    Mayor of Belgrade, Nebojsa Covic, is very important, because he is
    known to be a pragmatist and may well be the one to start a
    dialogue with the opposition.


    Today's issue of the London daily Independent says that the
    political crisis in Serbia is coming to a close, reports the
    Serbian edition of BBC Radio. ``Pro-democracy protesters in
    Belgrade can smell the victory, and it seems that Milosevic is
    also getting ready to accept the defeat in the November local
    elections. However, it seems that the finale will be a complex and
    dark scramble for power. Last weekend, it looked like everything
    was over. But it was not. So far, the state media have only given
    some vague hints that great changes are possible,'' said BBC Radio
    in its broadcast today commenting on the article in the


    The coming of the Orthodox New Year will be celebrated tonight at
    the Republic Square, in the center of Belgrade. The attendees will
    be addressed by some prominent Serbian actors; they will also have
    the opportunity to watch the screening of video messages of
    support sent to Belgrade from abroad by artists such as Vanessa
    Redgrave, Emir Kusturica, and the Prodigy. Later tonight, some
    prominent local rock bands will also stage an open-air concert at
    the Republic Square.

    Prepared by: Aleksandra Scepanovic
    Edited by: Vaska Andjelkovic (Tumir)

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

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