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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    Odraz B92 vesti (by 9 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 9 PM


    The representatives of the Student Protest told a press conference
    today that the conclusions of today's session of the UofB staff
    are a ``compromise solution'' reached thanks to the
    ``opstruction'' at the hands of the UofB dean Dragutin Velickovic.
    The representatives of the Student Protest left the session before
    it ended in protest of, they said, the inadmissible behaviour of
    the minister of education Dragoljub Mladenovic and his deputy
    Milivoj Simonovic for their speeches urged the staff to support
    the government and not the students. In addition to this the
    voting procedure was not respected and the deans were taken off
    the floor before finishing their speeches. The conclusion of the
    session, however, was that the UofB staff supports the student
    demands accepted by the Serbian government vice-presidents and the
    fulfillment of the committments the two vice-presidents undertook
    in the meeting with the Student Protest delegation. Deans of 35
    UofB schools were in favour of the student demands while only 3
    (those of the Schools of Veterinary, Agriculture and Economy)
    voted against. Before the meeting, the UofB Dean at first told the
    students not to come, for this session was not the occasion to
    discuss the student protest, then saying they might come but will
    not be allowed to attend the session. The students take this to be
    the Deans attempt to show their demands for the November 17
    electoral results to be acknowledged was not a support for the
    right cause. They, however, claim that their demands are political
    but are non-partisan. ``The student demands are not serving any
    political party, the same way they do not serve any government,''
    they said. The student demand for the dean to be replaced was left
    for the Wednesday session of the UofB Counci, the body authorized
    to discuss this issue. The Student Protest will continue until the
    student demands are met. After tonight's protest meeting
    celebrating the Ortodox New Year, the students will next gather
    Wednesday, during the session of the UofB Council session, reports


    Dean of the UofB, Dragutin Velickovic told a press conference
    after today's session of the UofB staff that the session's
    conclusions were primarily that the teaching be resumed after the
    student demands accepted by the Serbian vice-presidents be
    fulfilled and that the participants of the Student Protest will
    face no consequences. Asked whether he is considering handing in
    his resignation, Velickovic said it is a ``complicated matter,''
    adding that the overall situation of the university is
    ``unfavourable,'' for the teaching has been disrupted. He
    insisted, however, that this is not the case in all schools, for
    he has learned from his daily contact with the school deans that
    teaching has gone on as normal in 19 UofB schools. Asked why he
    failed to address his students over the past 50 days of protest,
    he said that if the students had reached him, there would have
    certainly been some talks. He maintained that ``discussions of
    political issues are not allowed in the university, for they
    disconcerted the students from attending lectures.''


    The Steering Board sent a letter today to all judges in Yugoslavia
    with claims to professionalism urging them to protect the
    fundamental Constitutional rights and civil freedoms, reports
    FoNet. ``Do not let us lose faith in truth, justice and
    independent judiciary. Deliver a public lecture to the police on
    Constitutional and Criminal Law. It is your turn to lead the
    students and all Serbian people in the struggle for a minimum of
    democracy,'' the letter said.


    The international community should treat Serbian President
    Slobodan Milosevic as it has treated President of Republic of
    Srpska, Radovan Karadzic, said Vesna Pesic, one of the Zajedno
    leaders and head of the Civil Alliance of Serbia (GSS), today. In
    an interview to the AFP, she said that the democratic countries
    should freeze their relations with Milosevic as they have done
    with the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, who left the political scene
    under the international pressure over his indictment for war
    crimes, FoNet reports. ``They [the democratic states] should
    punish Milosevic personally and make him realize that the era of
    such absolute power is over,'' she said. Pesic is to go on a visit
    to France to meet the French Foreign Minister Ervet de Charette
    and French President's diplomatic advisor Jean-David Levitte,
    proceeding to Italy and Sweeden. Her aim in of all three visits is
    to explain to the foreign public that the opposition in Serbia is
    struggling to provide the fundamental conditions for a normal
    democratic life in the country, most of all the free media. Pesic
    is firmly against economic sanctions against Serbia, for they
    would affect the whole population. She is in favour of the
    isolation of Milosevic himself, specifying: ``The crisis will not
    be resolved until the people around Milosevic realize he has lost
    his mind and that he is putting the whole country in diplomatic
    and economic isolation solely for the sake of the local


    The Serbian Radical Party (SRS) thanked today leader of the Civil
    Alliance of Serbia (GSS), Vesna Pesic for her attacks on the SRS
    leader, Vojislav Seselj. SRS explained that her attacks are the
    ``best possible advertisement and proof that the SRS policy is the
    right one.'' The SRS statement said: ``The Americans and other
    enemies of the Serb people have always found the best allies in
    Vesna Pesic and her closest associates in the coalition Zajedno...
    We must not forget that until very recently, according to Vesna
    Pesic, all the archdeans of the Serbian Ortodox Church, even the
    Patriarch Pavle, were the chief culprits for the defensive war our
    people waged to the west of the Drina and the Danube, and that
    she, together with her cronies in the coalition Zajedno put to the
    pillory all that was national and Serb,'' reports FoNet.


    ``All conditions for the establishment of the final electoral
    results in all the polling stations for the Nis City Assembly have
    been fulfilled and it is essential that this is done
    immediately,'' said a statement signed by the Serbian Minister of
    Justice, Arandjel Markicevic reported by the state media. ``The
    electoral documentation [the Ministry has] reviewed indisputably
    shows that the political organization Zajedno has won the majority
    of seats, and the Nis Electoral Commision is the only competent
    body to establish the exact number of seats. Serbian Government
    has neither been engaged in establishing this, nor does this fall
    into its competence,'' said the statement.


    Today's issue of the daily Nasa Borba brings parts of the
    transcripts from a meeting attended by the Socialist and Yugoslav
    United Left (JUL) top officials. Here are some excerpts. Mirjana
    Markovic, leader of the JUL, also Serbian President Slobodan
    Milosevic's wife, said: ``The main question is why the victors [in
    the local elections] have been driven into mousewholes, while the
    opposition is carrying on violence in the streets... Serbia is the
    sole non-marionette state in Europe contrary to what the West
    wants and is trying to effect...  There is a special war going on
    in Serbia, for the people in the streets have been indoctrinated
    by [foreign] mercenaries.'' As a way out of this situation
    Markovic proposed a firmer unity of the leftist forces. She
    criticized the police and army as well as the secret police
    ``which is not fighting the special war with the right methods,''
    claims the source of Nasa Borba. Zoran Todorovic Kundak, secretary
    general of the JUL said that constituting the Belgrade City
    Assembly immediately is essential ``for the courts have decided
    who has won [this being the leftist coalition of the SPS, JUL and
    New Democracy], and there's nothing to be done about it.'' He
    concluded that ``the police must take a more active part and if
    necessary, disperse the demonstrators from the streets by force.''
    Nedeljko Sipovac, the Socialist member said that ``it is essential
    that urgent actions against the special war be undertaken... for
    the time is not working for us due to the difficult economic
    situation. The economy is in a bad shape for the exaustion it
    suffered from the sanctions.'' Towards the end of the meeting,
    Mirjana Markovic took the floor once again insisting that new
    Federal and Republic governments must be formed, refreshed by
    young and able cadre and that the minister of information must be
    handpicked. Ljubisa Ristic, president of the JUL, said that ``a
    mob of beserk citizens'' is on the streets, the demonstrations
    being an attack on the political mechanism in Serbia. He blamed
    the opposition for the recent leap of the Deutschemark. ``We have
    a chance of defeating the opposition. We should focus on fast and
    confusing actions to gain iniciative,'' he concluded stressing
    that police action is essential to ``calm'' the situation.


    A letter by the coalition Zajedno demanded that the Army Command
    Head-quarters and the Serbian Interior Ministry urgently state
    their position with regard to the recent statements by the SPS and
    JUL leaderships in their joing meeting. The media has informed
    that the SPS and JUL leaderships demand that the police uses
    forces to crush the demonstrations in Serbia. According to this
    information, it is obvious that the SPS and JUL are trying to
    provoke large scale clashes and OFFICIALLY PROCLAIM a state of
    emergency in Serbia. This is why Zajedno demands that the Yugoslav
    Army Command Headquarters and the Serbian Interior Ministry
    protect the citizens and the state interests from the open attacks
    by the SPS and JUL leaderships.


    The management of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) decided by
    a majority vote Saturday to leave the coalition it had formed with
    the coalition Zajedno just before the federal elections November
    1996, reports today's issue of the daily Blic. Leader of the DSS,
    Vojislav Kostunica, cited the unbridgeable differences in the
    political programmes of Zajedno and his party, above all over the
    national issue, implementation of the Dayton accords, and the
    position towards the international community and the Serbs outside
    FR Yugoslavia.


    ``A session of the Yugoslav United Left (JUL) convened today to
    discuss the current political and economic situation in the
    country. 120 company managers, members of this party, attended the
    session. The conclusion of the session was a full support to the
    iniciative by the Serbian President Milosevic to embark on
    economic reforms. It pointed out that the main goals of the JUL
    are restructuring the state economy and encouraging private
    ownership,'' said today's JUL statement.


    UN saluted today a special package of laws on human and minority
    rights Croation offered to the Serbs in East Slavonia, reports
    FoNet Reuters as saying. The new regulations provides that the
    Serbs in East Slavonia, many of them refugees from other parts of
    Croatia, can vote in the places of their residence before the war
    and also that they are not obliged to do military service in the
    Croat army. The UN administrator for East Slavonia, Jacques Klein
    assessed that this will be important for the March 16 elections to
    come and a peaceful reintegration so that the mandate of the
    UNTAES could be terminated in early summer.


    British Defence Minister Michael Portillo stated in Sarajevo today
    that the economis aid may be denied to those parties in Bosnia
    Herzegovina who do not fulfil the committments they took by the
    Dayton Accords, repotrs FoNet AFP as saying. Portillo made this
    statement after a meeting with the co-presidents of the
    Ministerial Council of Bosnia Herzegovina, Haris Silajdzic and
    Bora Bosic. He underlined that enormous political advance must be
    made in Bosnia over the next 18 months, the term after which the
    SFOR troops will withdraw from the region.

    JANUARY 16

    Second working session of the ministerial council of Bosnia
    Herzegovina was held in the Natural Museum in Sarajevo today. The
    main issues on the agenda were the rules of procedure of this body
    and the conclusions of yesterday's Forum on economic renewal of
    the Republic of Srpska and Federation of Bosnia Herzegovina,
    reports FoNet the newsagency SRNA as saying. The ministers
    discussed the conditions the two entities have to fulfil before
    the next donors' council in Brussels with the representative of
    the World Bank, Rory O'Sullivan, and the chief of mission of the
    International Monetary Fund, Scot Brown. The session was adjurned
    until January 16.


    Details of the agreement of the joint armed forces of Moslem-Croat
    federation were made public in Sarajevo today, reports FoNet AFP
    as saying. According to the statement by Federation Defence
    Minister Ante Jelavic, Muslims and Croats will have ``partially
    joint'' army of 30 to 35 thousand men.


    Student Alliance of the University of Skopje has announced a
    protest for tomorrow, reports FoNet the Macedonian newsagency
    Makfaks as saying. The initiators of the protest are Macedonian
    students of the School of Pedagogy, dissatisfied by the bill in
    Macedonian government providing for teaching in Albian for the
    students of this nationalty. The Montenegrin government, pressed
    by the boycott of lectures by Albanian students, proposes that
    this bill be put through immediatelly. The Macedonian students
    believe that this bill is a result of political compromise and
    demand that the teaching in minority languages be solved in detail
    and according to the Macedonian constitution.


    Prince Alexandar Karadjordjevic assessed the demonstrations in
    Belgrade as the best chance for his becoming King of Yugoslavia,
    reports FoNet AFP as saying. He said he believes that the majority
    of the people in the streets, including the students, was in
    favour of monarchy. He told AFP that the Zajedno leaders also have
    expressed support and sympathies for this cause in the contacts he
    has been having with them since the beginning of the
    demonstrations. Saying that it was high time Serbian President
    Milosevic withdrew, for ``he has no concept of democracy or
    fundamental human rights,'' the Prince announced his possible
    arrival to Belgrade where, he said, he ``might paly an important
    role in bringing democracy to the contry.''


    Tonight saw the continuation of the campaign to out-loud the state
    television prime time news bulletin. In some parts of New Belgrade
    as well in downtown Belgrade, there were some who put loudspeakers
    in their windows playing the programmes of Radio Index and Radio

    Over 5,000 students of UofN went for their 54th consecutive
    protest march in downtown Nis. The head of the column bore the
    golden icon of the Holy Mother, set in jewels, they received from
    the monastery of Hilandar this morning.

    Radio Television Kragujevac will remain the property of this city
    rather than be affiliated to the [state] Radio Television Serbia,
    despite the staments to the contrary by Minister of Culture Nada
    Popovic-Perisic, said a statement by the newly formed City Hall

    The coalition Vojvodina demanded today a public investigation in
    the January 10 police raid and physical assault on the journalists
    of the weekly Nezavisni [Independent].


    The editorial staff of the Radio Belgrade Three announced today
    that the ``agreement of the representatives of the Student Protest
    and the Serbian Government that the people's will expressed in the
    local elections be fully respected and those responsible for the
    falsifications of the electoral minutes'' is ``the right way to
    peacefully and democratically end the current political crisis.''
    ``Fulfillment of this agreement is the necesarry pre-condition for
    the beginning of serious, uncurbed dialogue on the problems
    hindering the objective reporting. These are the fundamental pre-
    conditions for a as painless transition as possible into a market
    economy and political democracy,'' said the statement of the
    ``entire staff of Radio Belgrade Three,'' reports FoNet.

    Prepared by: Aleksandra Scepanovic
    Edited by: (not edited; to be resent upon editing)

    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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