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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service

    Odraz B92 vesti (by 3 PM), January 23, 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.

    NEWS BY 3 PM


    Belgrade University Chancellor Dragutin Velickovic, on Wednesday
    invited representatives of the Student Protest for discussions.
    The talks are scheduled to begin on Thursday, January 23, at 11.00
    hours. The Student Protest Steering Committee was undecided late
    on Wednesday whether to accept the invitation. One member of the
    committee told Radio B92 that the students would be wasting their
    time in discussions with a man who had no morals at all. He added
    that the chancellor should speak to officials of his own party,
    the Socialists, who had appointed him to his position, and that as
    far as the students were concerned, his only option was to resign.


    Belgrade students have entered their fourth day facing a police
    cordon in Kolarceva Street in the heart of Belgrade. About 10,000
    people are still standing against the cordon. The students were
    joined on Wednesday night by thousands of residents, including the
    deans of seventeen Belgrade University faculties, and numerous
    writers, actors and journalists. More than two hundred actors
    marched to Kolarceva street late on Wednesday evening at the end
    of performances in Belgrade theatres. Student leaders spoke to the
    crowd about the student delegation which is currently visiting the
    United States. Students are also planning visits to Germany and
    Denmark at the invitation of newspapers and television in those


    US Deputy Secretary of State John Cornbloom met student protest
    leaders on Wednesday and expressed his full support for their
    action. Reuters quotes Mr Cornbloom as saying: ``It was important
    for us to hear their opinion directly from them, and besides that,
    we had a chance to express our full support for what they are
    doing.'' Mr Cornbloom went on to say that the delegates had told
    him about the sobering process which had has occurred in Serbia
    since the signing of the Dayton agreement, saying: ``During the
    war there was apathy, people were just trying to survive, but when
    the agreement was signed and sanctions lifted, people were able to
    focus on the future. That is when the sobering started.''


    Chairman of the Belgrade University Council, Serbian Academician
    Zlatibor Petrovic, resigned on Wednesday. Petrovic said that
    recent events in Belgrade had had an influence on his decision,
    but he also emphasised that he would not sign any petition of
    support for protesting students. ``I will not sign anything any
    more,'' said 75-year-old Petrovic, adding that he had decided to
    resign after consulting his physicians.


    The Belgrade Electoral Commission on Wednesday verified nine out
    of the ten remaining disputed mandates for the Belgrade City
    Assembly. The latest round of decisions has given an additional
    four seats each to the Left Coalition and Zajedno, with one going
    to the Radicals. One seat remains undecided. After these
    decisions, the Belgrade City Assembly now has 64 seats held by
    Zajedno, 27 by the Socialist Party, 16 by the Serbian Radical
    Party and 2 by the Democratic Party of Serbia 2.


    The Presidents of Serbia and Montenegro, Slobodan Milosevic and
    Momir Bulatovic, met in Belgrade on Wednesday. The two leaders
    agreed that the continued union of the republics and the
    strengthening of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia are the
    factors which will guarantee the security and the successful
    development of the country. Following the meeting, an official
    statement said, in part, ``Attempts to foment a conflict between
    Serbia and Montenegro can only be interpreted as part of the
    strategy for the weakening of both Republics as well as of


    Thousands of Belgrade citizens rallied in Republic Square on
    Wednesday for the sixty-fourth day of protest against government
    rejection of November's local election results. Civil Alliance
    leader Vesna Pesic reported to demonstrators on the meeting of
    Socialist Internationale in Rome which she had attended as a
    guest. Mrs Pesic stressed that although the organisation's
    membership includes political parties of the democratic left from
    all over the world, the Socialist Party of Serbia has never been
    admitted, despite seeking inclusion on several occasions. ``They
    expressed their solidarity with the opposition and the students
    who have given Serbia a new, democratic image,'' said Pesic,
    ``They want our authorities to accept the recommendations of the
    OSCE and recognise the election results in full. They believe
    that, once the results are fully acknowledged, the government and
    the opposition must open a dialogue in which the rules and the
    schedule for democratic change are defined.''  President of the
    Democratic Party, Zoran Djindjic, told protesters that the Serbian
    authorities had accused Serbian citizens of the attempted
    assassination of the Pristina University Chancellor, but failed to
    raise any condemnation from the international community. ``The
    Socialists have demonstrated that they belong to the world of
    terrorism, they stop at nothing to maintain their rule. Bombs,
    human lives, terrorist acts, anything goes if it secures them
    another day in power. That is terrorism,'' claimed Djindjic.
    Serbian Renewal Movement President Vuk Draskovic told the packed
    square that Serbian authorities were maintaining their power by
    force, fear and lies, in other words by police, and the state
    media. He claimed that if employees of the state media were to
    strike for just two days, the Socialists would lose their power.


    Serbian Radical Party President Vojislav Seselj, addressing a
    crowd of 2,000 which had gathered to greet Jean Marie Le Penn,
    defined the goal of the Radicals as ``to topple the Left block in
    the elections, and to eliminate the Zajedno coalition.''  Seselj
    went on to say ``We want this regime to fall as soon as possible.
    Radicals will not be allies of either the Socialists or Zajedno.''

    Prepared by: Goran Dimitrijevic
    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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