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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service

    Odraz B92 vesti (by 11 PM), January 30, 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 4 PM


    Belgrad citizens continued their noise campaign against the prime
    time news bulletin on state television on Thursday. Huge numbers
    of them gathered in their neighbourhoods to march into central
    Belgrade and attend the 72nd protest meeting held by the Zajedno
    coalition in Republic Square.

    Vuk Draskovic, one of the opposition leaders, headed a column of
    some 10,000 citizens from Banovo Brdo, the outlying suburb where
    he lives. Meanwhile Vesna Pesic and Zoran Djindjic, the other two
    Zajedno leaders, headed marches in Belgrade's Revolution
    Boulevard. Many police units were again deployed in central
    Belgrade on Thursday night.

    Mr Djindjic told Radio B92 that the citizens of Belgrade had
    devised a new and successful mode of protest and that there was no
    chance that the protests would peter out.

    The 3rd evening protest meeting in Belgrade's Republic Square
    attracted upwards of 60,000 people. Addressing the crowds, Vuk
    Draskovic, saluted Thursday's statement from Yugoslav President
    Zoran Lilic after meeting government officials in Montenegro. Mr.
    Draskovic said he hoped President Lilic was again acting as a
    spokesman for the Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

    Vesna Pesic, leader of the civic alliance party, referred to the
    statement President Milosevic had made to Russian Deputy Foreign
    Minister Igor Ivanov, and said that it was not true that there
    would be constitutional barriers to the acceptance of the November
    17th election results.


    The Belgrade Electoral Commission on Thursday backed Zajedno's
    appeal for the retrial of a case in the First Municipal court. The
    case concerns election procedure in the Belgrade council
    elections. Radomir Lazarevic, chair of the commission, told Radio
    B92 that the appeal was based on facts from the report of the
    Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and statements
    from Nebojsa Covic, Mayor of Belgrade and Momir Bulatovic,
    President of Montenegro, both of whom acknowledge Zajedno's
    election victory.


    Rasim Ljajic, leader of the Party for Democratic Action (SDA) in
    Sandzak told Montena-Fax on Thursday that the protests in Serbia
    marked the beginning of a new, democratic Serbia. He believes that
    Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's days are numbered. Although
    he could not predict the policy of the opposition towards Sandzak,
    if it came to power, he said that President Milosevic would
    undoubtedly instigate tragic bloodshed in the region if he stayed
    in power. He also said that no ``post-Milosevic government'' would
    be able to obtain the sort of power that President Milosevic had
    over the media, economy, police and army, FoNet reported on


    Zoran Zivkovic, Mayor of Nis, said on Thursday that the new city
    government would look into the contract between the local
    television station and Radio Television Serbia (RTS). He
    considered the contract to be highly unfavourable to the city,
    because the city had paid for equipment that RTS intends to take
    over. Under that contract, the city would only be left with the
    television's brodcasting frequency and transmittor if the contract
    terms are not met. The Mayor of Nis said such an outcome was out
    of the question, Beta reported on Thursday.

    The opposition coalition Zajedno in Kragujevac named all those
    responsible for police violence against road-blocking protesters
    on January 23 at their protest rally on Thursday. An open letter
    was sent to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic demanding that
    these culprits be punished according to the law, Beta reported on

    Kosovo Information Centre announced on Thursday that 33 ethnic
    Albanians from many towns in that region had been brought into
    custody that day.


    US State Department made public an extensive report on human
    rights in the world on Thursday. With regard to FR Yugoslavia, the
    report stated that neither the US nor the international community
    recognized Serbia and Montenegro as inheritors of former
    Yugoslavia. The report stated that FR Yugoslavia was actually
    ruled by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Beta reported.

    President Milosevic controls the country through the Socialist
    Party of Serbia. This party, although it has not the necessary
    majority either in the Serbian or in Federal Parliament, controls
    the ruling coalition and holds the key posts in the
    administration, the report stated.

    Serbia abolished the autonomy of Kosovo and Vojvodina in 1990, and
    placed all important decision-making in the hands of Milosevic and
    Belgrade. The courts are manipulated by the government -- the most
    recent example of which the voiding of the opposition victory in
    November local elections, the report said.

    A key factor in President Milosevic's grip on power is the police,
    a force of over 100,000 strong which is heavily armed.

    The report illustrated systematic police violations of human
    rights. That report said there were illegal murders, torture,
    brutal beatings, unauthorized arrests as well as the repression of
    ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and Muslims in Sandzak.

    Economic and police pressure is used against the independent
    media. Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) are delaying cooperation
    with the Hague War Crimes Tribunal, obligatory under the Dayton
    agreement they signed, the report continued.

    The report concluded that, because of the human rights situation
    in FR Yugoslavia, its reentrance to the UN, the Organization for
    Security and Cooperation in Europe and other international
    institutions would not be permitted.


    High Commissioner if Bosnia Carl Bildt had talks with members of
    the Bosnian Ministerial Council in Sarajevo on Thursday. The talks
    concerned the council's work on coordinating the laws on Bosnia's
    central bank, citizenship, elections and cooperation between its
    two entities, FoNet reported on Thursday. After that meeting, Mr.
    Bildt expressed satisfaction with the council's work, in spite of
    some expected difficulties. If the Bosnian Ministerial Council
    fails to adopt the laws, the donor conference in Brussels
    scheduled for March will be cancelled.


    The law on the civil command of the army of Federation of Bosnia
    Herzegovina was signed by Alija Izetbegovic, Chair of Bosnian
    Presidency and Kresimir Zubak, President of the Federation of
    Bosnia Herzegovina on Thursday, FoNet reports.

    The long delayed signing of the rule came after series of pressure
    from the US. The main contention was over the proportion of Croat
    and Muslim forces in the army.


    UN Secretary General Koffi Annan stated on Thursday that the unity
    of Bosnia Herzegovina was essential and that the UN must remain in
    the region long enough to enable this. Mr. Annan warned that
    breaking Bosnia Herzegovina would leave Great Serbia and Great
    Croatia with a narrow strip of land between them that would become
    a new Gaza or Israel. He warned that this must not be allowed,
    FoNet reported on Thursday.


    The general strike at delayed payment of teachers salaries in 161
    out of 178 schools in Belgrade and in 324 out of 441 in Vojvodina
    continued on Thursday.

    The Serbian Government instructed the Ministry of Education on
    Thursday to deny funding to all schools that had discontinued
    teaching, Belgrade state media reported.

    Prepared by: Marija Milosavljevic
    Edited by: Mary Anne Wood

    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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