[Menu] [dDH]   If you came here via a search engine looking for news: remember that search engines are never 'up to date'. But you are close, try our front door

Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    Odraz B92 vesti (by 3 PM), December 13, 1996

    e-mail: beograd@siicom.com      URL: http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/
            odrazb92@b92.opennet.org     http://www.siicom.com/b92/
    All texts are Copyright 1996 Radio B92. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    NEWS BY 3 PM


    Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has sent a reply to US State
    Secretary Warren Christopher's letter to him in which Christopher
    had criticized Serbian authorities' decision to annul Nov. 17
    local electoral results and its handling of the ongoing mass
    demonstrations. Milosevic's letter, which was made public last
    night, reads: ``I want to inform you personally about the
    situation in Serbia, for I think the right source of information
    for a US state secretary should be the official institutions of a
    state he is concerned about.''  The Serbian president then added
    that ``peace and democracy, beside the economic development [of
    the country], are the basic goals of our policy and in the utmost
    interest of our citizens.''  Milosevic's letter dismissed the
    allegations that Serbian authorities had annulled local electoral
    results as untrue, claiming that the decision to call for a third
    electoral round were legally justified. It stressed that all state
    institutions would take utmost care to correct any possible
    irregularities [that might have slipped by]. The letter claimed no
    force has been used against demonstrators, as Serbian police are
    very professional and disciplined, reacting as is their duty only
    in the case of vandalism or disturbance of public peace and

    The letter described the demonstrations organized by the
    opposition as ``non-democratic,'' and lambasted them for what it
    alleged was their use of vandalism and threats of political
    terrorism, misuse of children and youth, and blocking of the city
    traffic. Milosevic's letter went on to insist that the
    demonstrations should not be supported by democratic and
    progressive forces in the world. ``Belgrade demonstrations are not
    even targeted at the Yugoslav public, for Yugoslav public knows
    fully well what the truth is. The demonstrations are targeted at
    those outside factors, from which support and pressure on Serbia
    is expected -- with the aim of hampering its full re-integration
    in the international community,'' said the letter, adding that
    since the international public has been presented with a distorted
    picture of what happened in the local elections, the Serbian
    government has decided to invite a reputable OSCE delegation to
    visit Serbia and get true information on all facts, so that any
    problems in the relationship between the international community
    and Serbia would be done away with.


    OSCE has not yet received any official invitation to send a
    delegation to Belgrade, reported Reuters. A spokesperson of OSCE
    stated in Vienna today that OCSE could not respond until an
    official invitation was received from Belgrade and all its details
    and possible conditions were first carefully considered. An
    unnamed Western diplomatic source warned, however, that OSCE
    should guard against possible manipulations by Milosevic, for it
    is unlikely that the OSCE delegation could verify the results of
    the elections held over a month ago. The diplomat's opinion was
    that the OSCE delegation, if it meets with Milosevic, could
    propose that elections be re-run with full supervision by OSCE


    Spokesman of the State Department Nicholas Burns said last night
    he saw no signs of a dialogue between the Serbian authorities and
    the opposition, reported AFP today. He criticized strongly the
    ``obvious efforts by the authorities to threaten the opposition''
    pointing to the ``brutal treatment some of the young demonstrators
    were suffering in custody.''  ``He [Milosevic] does not seem to
    understand that the hole he has been digging for himself is
    getting deeper by the day. He is isolating himself from the US and
    the rest of the Western countries,'' concluded Burns.


    A group of some 130 students set out today, at around 1300, from
    Novi Sad on a march to Belgrade.


    Association of Branch Unions announced today that strikes of
    workers are under way in the companies of ``21. maj,'' ``Ikarus,''
    ``Novi Dom,'' ``Machine Industry of Nis,'' 3 divisions of
    ``Zastava'' and 1 of ``21. Oktobar'' company. The association also
    said that new strikes were being organized despite of the heavy
    pressures by the authorities.


    Having refused a previous overture by the students, Patriarch of
    the Serbian Orthodox Church, his Holiness Pavle, expressed his
    support for student demonstrations in a meeting he had with a
    delegation from the Student Protests '96 today, said spokesman of
    the Steering Board of Students Protests, Cedomir Jovanovic.
    Patriarch's message to the students was that everyone's duty was
    to fight for the good and against the evil.

    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/

[Menu] [dDH]