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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), December 19, 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


    Spokesman for State Department Nicholas Burns said today that the
    US diplomat Max Campelman has been invited to join the
    international team soon to be sent to Serbia by the Organization
    for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to establish the
    facts concerning local electoral results. Burns said the US expect
    Milosevic to be fair and open to the mission, to abide by its
    findings and respect its recommendations. He added that the US has
    had enough experience with Milosevic to fear a serious divergence
    between Milosevic's public statements and his subsequent actions.


    A 9-member delegation of student marchers from Kragujevac will not
    visit Serbian President Milosevic as was planned, said spokesman
    of the Steering Board of the Student Protest '96. The students set
    out from Kragujevac on a 120-km march, carrying a message in a
    bottle they intended to hand in to President Milosevic. They have,
    however, given up their plan, discouraged by the experience of the
    students from Nis who visited President Milosevic two days ago.


    Today's student march headed towards the Serbian Presidency
    building, where the guest student marchers from Kragujevac are to
    present Serbian President with traditional flat-bread, brandy and
    a letter. The protest started in front of the School of
    Philosophy, where tens of thousands UofB students greeted their
    counterparts from Kragujevac, who had marched 120 km in support of
    their Belgrade colleagues. They were presented a song -- ``Glas''
    [Voice/Vote] -- a joint project of Belgrade musicians and actors,
    dedicated to the Student Protest. The Steering Board announced
    that students will block the traffic in Belgrade tomorrow to
    protest their being barred from entering Dedinje for the third
    time yesterday. The students then proceeded to walk towards the
    Presidency building.


    Leader of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS), Vojislav Seselj
    condemned today the invitation Serbian President Milosevic sent to
    the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) as
    an invitation ``to directly interfere into the internal affairs of
    Serbia and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.'' He said that the OSCE
    mission had no business in Serbia since OSCE had excluded
    Yugoslavia from its membership, has pursued a policy hostile to
    Serbia and has participated in the falsifying of the electoral
    results in Bosnia.

    He characterized the use of foreign banners in the opposition
    protests in Belgrade as ``the greatest shame in the last few
    decades,'' adding that it is scandalous that Zajedno supporters
    would denigrate Russia while rejoicing in front of the US embassy,
    as the US has been conspicuously hostile to Serbian interests. He
    said staging counter-protests by the regime supporters was a
    mistake and that the discussion should be carried out in the
    appropriate institutions whose work should be made public.

    ``The regime has introduced an absolute blockade of the media,
    presenting through them a false picture of reality. The leaders of
    the regime have started to believe in this distorted reality and
    in this state of self-deception cannot assess the present
    situation,'' said Seselj. He stressed SRS has no connections with
    any party in Serbia; it is closest to the Russian Liberal
    Democratic Party lead by Vladimir Zirinovsky and expects to
    establish relations with Jean Mari Lepenne's ultra-nationalist
    right-wing party during his visit to Belgrade next January.


    Federal Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic said today he expects
    the OSCE mission will ``contribute to resolving the dilemmas
    around the small part of the disputed mandates of the local
    elections,'' report Belgrade media. He said OSCE monitors were
    present during the first round of federal and local elections and
    that they were satisfied with what they saw. He stressed the OSCE
    monitors will have no problems in observing the regularity of
    elections in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the future.


    The Belgrade city board of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) --
    Milosevic's ruling party -- issued a statement today condemning
    the daily protests of Zajedno supporters who, the SPS statement
    said, ``could not face the fact that SPS is the most powerful
    political force [in Serbia] and has the real and true support of
    the majority of the citizens of Serbia.''

    The statement condemned the demonstrations for jeopardizing the
    function of vital municipal systems and its economy, paralyzing
    traffic and regular delivery of goods to the citizens, and thereby
    making life that much harder for Belgraders. It stressed that
    since ordinary citizens do not support Zajedno, the opposition has
    had to seek support from foreign countries, ``ingratiating itself
    by its use of foreign banners and insignia which irritate Serbian
    patriots and honest citizens.''  The statement said the coalition
    Zajedno were not interested in local self-government, for the
    local electoral results have been annulled in as little as 3.5% of
    all polling stations. ``They want complete power, and that without
    having to hold elections, without consulting the will of the
    people. They have therefore chosen the streets and are boycotting
    state institutions, whose decisions they respect only when they
    are made in their favor,'' the statement claimed.

    SPS also pointed out the measures it has taken to protect the
    citizens of Belgrade and enable them to carry on with their normal
    life and work in the city. Milosevic's invitation to an OSCE team
    and the setting up of panel discussions in the Serbian Parliament
    are given as signs of SPS good-will and readiness to discuss its
    problems in a civilized and democratic way.


    Vice-president of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), Bosko
    Perocevic said in an interview to the state-owned Belgrade daily
    ``Borba'' that street protests should cease immediately as there
    is no reason for them. ``If the demonstrations continue, it is
    possible that social disturbances will ensue, which is obviously
    the aim of the demonstrations,'' he said. Asked for how long the
    SPS will let the demonstrations disturb the life of Belgraders, he
    said that measures to protect citizens ``should be carried out
    very soon. State institutions should step in and effect a
    normalization of living conditions because right now the citizens
    of Belgrade cannot carry out their daily duties. The 'promenades'
    should be held in a more adequate place.''


    The NGO Information Center in Belgrade said today that president
    of the Humanitarian Rights Fund, Natasa Kandic has visited Dejan
    Bulatovic, the demonstrator who was arrested and heavily beaten by
    the police earlier this month.

    Evidence of the injuries he sustained while in custody are still
    visible on Bulatovic's body: his nose and the back of his head are
    still swollen, and he has several broken teeth. Dejan Bulatovic is
    suffering extreme anxiety associated with post-traumatic stress
    and has recurring dreams of the night of December 5--6.

    Late at night on December 5, Bulatovic was arrested and taken to a
    Belgrade police station, where a young, fair-haired policeman of
    average height ordered him to face the wall and lower his
    trousers, saying: ``Now you'll see what you were doing to the
    President.''  The policeman then forced his baton up Bulatovic's
    anus ignoring his screams. ``I only held the effigy,'' Bulatovic
    remembers himself repeating over and over again. The other
    policemen present in the room could not bear to even look on,
    according to Bulatovic.


    The Serbian Radical Party of Republika Srpska (SRS RS) said today
    it supports neither the Serbian authorities nor the Zajedno
    coalition in the conflict over the nullification of the local
    elections in Serbia, reports SRNA, a Pale-based news agency close
    to the top leadership of Republika Srpska in Bosnia.

    The Serbian Radical Party in Bosnia issued its statement to
    counter what it described as a planned disinformation campaign
    ``about SRS RS not participating the demonstrations.''  SRS RS
    said: ``We will not change our stand towards the regime of Serbian
    President Slobodan Milosevic, the Yugoslav United Left party (JUL)
    and other parties and individuals whose actions are pushing
    Serbian people into a disaster.'' They said they cannot support
    Zajedno for they ``subserviently'' go from one foreign embassy to
    another, ingratiating themselves with precisely those countries
    whose air forces had bombed the Serbs in Bosnia and ``who are at
    present doing their best to erase Serbian people from this

    The statement warned that neither the Serbian authorities nor
    Zajedno are paying any attention to Serb national interests and
    are using general slogans about democracy only so as to stay in or
    come to power. ``Serbian Radicals in the Republic of Srpska
    believe that Serb patriots, whether members of Serbian Radical
    Party or not, will find a legal way to overthrow Milosevic's
    corrupt and criminal regime and that people of high patriotic
    feeling, capability and moral responsibility will soon come to
    power in Serbia and Montenegro,'' concluded the statement.

    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/

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