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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service

    Odraz B92 vesti (by 10 PM), January 24, 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 10 PM


    The student standoff with police in Belgrade's Kolarceva Street
    continued on Friday evening, as thousands of citizens again headed
    for the centre after marches from various residential areas of
    Belgrade. The marches began during and after the evening news
    bulletin on state television.


    Zajedno leaders, addressing tens of thousands of Belgraders in
    Republic Square on Friday afternoon, appealed for the continuation
    of peaceful protest. Zoran Djindjic, told the packed square that
    protest against November's electoral fraud had not only spread,
    but had become truly democratic. He continued that Serbia was
    seeing an awaking of idealism. Mr Djindjic told the crowd that
    three Belgrade embassies had told him that applications for
    immigration visas had dropped by up to 40%, which he interpreted
    as a sign of optimism about the country's future. Referring to the
    offer by the OSCE to mediate between the government and the
    opposition, Mr Djindjic said that Zajedno needed no mediation.
    ``We abide by the law and the OSCE recommendation. There will be
    no bargaining with our rights,'' he concluded. Vuk Draskovic
    condemned Thursday's police show of strength and stressed that the
    opposition was determined that protests should remain peaceful. He
    told a cheering crowd that the opposition would not accept new
    elections until the results from November were honoured. Mr
    Draskovic also appealed police, army and state media personnel not
    to be Serbia's greatest enemies.


    FoNet reports that members of a German Parliamentary delegation to
    Belgrade had said that their impression of Belgrade's
    demonstrations was that the whole citizenry was protesting and the
    impending fall of the current regime could be felt in the air. The
    delegation has met with representatives of Zajedno, Human Rights
    Watch, Student Protest 96/97, the Yugoslav Parliament, the
    Yugoslav Foreign Ministry and Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle.
    FoNet quoted one member of the delegation, Gerd Pope, as saying
    that government representatives had applauded the OSCE report on
    the November election results, but insisted that the courts must
    make a decision on it.


    UN Special Commissioner for Bosnia Karl Bildt was quoted by Beta
    as saying on Friday that he was gravely concerned about the
    situation in Serbia. Mr Bildt said that he had repeatedly urged
    Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to recognise the second round
    of electoral results and to embark on a constructive dialogue with
    the opposition coalition Zajedno. Mr Bildt added that the
    international community was working intensively to protect
    Republika Srpska from the harmful effects of developments in
    Yugoslavia, and especially against the possible collapse of the
    Yugoslav currency.


    Nis Zajedno leader Toplica Djordjevic said on Friday that if
    protests in Nis became more radical, the blame would lie with the
    police. He claimed that the police had used force against citizens
    returning from the road-block action on the Belgrade-Nis motorway
    on Thursday. Mr Djordjevic added that the use of force against
    peaceful demonstrators was intolerable.


    Zajedno's Nis branch claimed on Thursday that the Supreme Court of
    Serbia had rejected a Socialist appeal and allowed that of
    Zajedno, according to Beta. Zajedno had appealed against results
    for four seats on the Nis City Assembly. The Nis Electoral
    Commission must now decide whether to award mandates in these four
    seats to Zajedno or call a third round of elections.


    The Novi Sad City Assembly on Friday appointed new managements in
    fifteen public companies under its authority. These include public
    utilities and public services as well as cultural centres and


    FoNet on Friday quoted European commentators as saying that the
    sole conclusion to be drawn from events in Kragujevac, is that
    Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and his political block are
    not even considering any compromise with the Serbian Opposition.
    La Libre Belgique, in a story headed ``Serbia: A Minute to
    Midnight,'' said that the tactics in Kragujevac were a clear
    example of the strategy the Serbian regime intended to follow. The
    article went on to predict that even if Milosevic decided to
    respect the OSCE recommendations and allow the opposition to
    govern Serbian cities, he would resort to any means to preserve
    his grip on the national media. Concluding that Milosevic had
    decided on a ``suicidal escalation,'' La Libre urged the
    international community to realise that Serbia is in danger, and
    that it would be shameful not to come to the country's aid. ``The
    international community must take measures against Slobodan
    Milosevic and those who, in collusion with him, are exposing the
    country to the catastrophe of a civil war.''


    State media in Belgrade on Friday carried a statement from the
    management of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) which accused
    the opposition coalition Zajedno of failing to respect the
    electoral will of the people and of terrorising their political
    opponents. ``The opposition parties of Zajedno, disgruntled with
    their defeat in the elections, are using aggressive pressure to
    deny the freely expressed electoral choices of the Serbian people.
    The aims of the demonstrations are the usual ones: seizing power
    by force, accusing the people of not wanting to vote for them,
    blatant terrorism against their political opponents. This also
    applies to those international elements supporting Zajedno, whose
    aim was and is to crush us and destabilise Serbia and
    Yugoslavia,'' the statement continued. The statement reiterated
    the SPS position that all political disputes can be solved only
    within the institutions of the Republic, and blamed Zajedno for
    refusing to participate in a recent panel discussion in the
    Serbian Parliament, accusing the coalition of resorting to
    violence in the streets. The statement also claimed that any
    irregularities found in the local government elections would be
    rectified as soon as possible, regardless of which side was
    affected by them.


    Beta reports that Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova demanded
    on Friday that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Interpol
    investigate recent terrorist acts in Kosova.


    The latest issue of the Montenegrin weekly Monitor, has warned
    that a small Sicilian-style cartel was running Montenegro, with
    all key management posts in business being held by members of the
    one-party Montenegro Government. The weekly pointed out that such
    a system was not even the beginning of privatisation. The weekly
    predicted that the present system was more likely to lead to a n
    extended cartel, rather than to privatisation. This opinion, the
    article continued, was supported by the rigid monopoly of the
    Montengrin ruling party, the absence of any form of political
    consensus, brutal political discrimination and injustice, and the
    illegal practices and instability to which they gave rise.


    Radio B92 is organizing an international competition for the best
    photography of the CIVIL PROTEST 1996/97. Any photographs taken
    during the protests in any Serbian city since November 17 may be
    entered. Entry will open as long as the protests continue.
    Selected photographs will be published in a high quality
    publication which will include texts about the Civic Protest by
    various intellectuals writing about different aspects of the
    protests, such as noise, photography, media, linguistic analysis
    of protest banners, street theatre and marches. All texts will be
    transleted into English. The book will be lunched at Belgrades
    Cinema REX, with an exhibition of the the best photographs as well
    as material from the protests. Prizes for the best photogrphs will

    The prizes for the best photographies will be:

        1. Kodak digital photocamera DC-50

        2. Kodak digital photocamera DC-40

        3. Kodak digital photocamera DC-20

        4. A home page on the Internet

    All entrants whose photographs are published will receive a free
    copy of the book. Intending entrants should forward their entries

    Radio B92, Photo Competition
    Makedonska 22/V
    11000 Beograd

    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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