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October 20, 1996
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 263


Kece Returns Home

TANJUG's feedback to the Belgrade daily Borba and Serbian Television on federal interior minister Vukasin Jokanovic's visit to Germany must have led the average reader or viewer to believe that the visit was about

promoting economic ties, Yugoslavia's reintegration with the international community and putting an end to world terrorism with our newly established German friends. (Borba's headline: "Together they stand against terrorism")

The prime time news featured Jovanovic's ceremonial signing of an unknown document while a large group of people in white funny white caps stood restlessly outside the building in which the event had taken place. The

scene must have been entirely confusing, but an odd listener of the BBC World Service or some other foreign radio did nevertheless have the opportunity to get indoctrinated with the right information: minister Jokanovic came to Germany to sign, which he did of course, a document ordering the repatriation of some 135,000 ethnic Albanians back to Yugoslavia.

The Army

Heroes Of Peace

An elite Yugoslav Army unit, the 63rd paratroopers brigade, celebrated its 52nd birthday (d.o.b. 1944, Italy) with a spectacular rally at the Nis airbase. The attendants were addressed by commander of the Yugoslav army land forces, gen. Ljubisa Stojimirovic, who said that the brigade had "accomplished all missions with some success and reliability over the pastfew years, having gained a significant amount of experience." The prime time news broadcast about the event included a clip on the ceremonial opening of a memorial room within the airport, which, among other things, has photographs of our commandos in action and metal plates bearing the names of the 63rd brigade members who - as the Serbian television reporter put it - "gave their lives for the country's better future". The camera focused on the plates for barely a second, but long enough for many to spot the years in which our special forces had been laying their lives on the altar for a better future: 1993 and 1994. Our country, and therefore our army, officially took no part in the war next door in those years, which only tells us that one can die for country in times of peace too, on home territory.


Roads Of Revival

The federal minister of labor, health and social welfare Miroslav Ivanisevic made the following comment on the recently adopted laws regarding issues such as employment, strikes, pension funds and insurance for the disabled: "The adoption of the entire lot was motivated by the fact that we worship the cult of work and responsibility."

Expressing his conviction in the cult's bright future, the minister could not conceal his joy with the fact that law on employment has now vested wider powers in employers than ever before. "It is only natural that broader rights in terms of employment are enjoyed by those entrusted with preparing and implementing the rehabilitation of our economic potentials," he said.


An Offended Attorney

Belgrade Radio reporters have learned, and their discovery was amazingly, carried by Serbian television, that a Belgrade lawyer, one Svetozar Vujacic, has pressed charges against Democratic Party (DS) leader Zoran Djindjic for offending Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic.

According to Vujacic, says Belgrade radio, the incriminated Djindjic exposed president Milosevic to public mockery at a coalition-opposition rally in Vranje on October 10, and thus committed a felony by showing disrespect for the president's reputation. Vujacic reminded the court and Belgrade radio reminded the ever-so-absent minded audience that "Djindjic received a suspended sentence to imprisonment barely three weeks ago for a similar act", and that "the incident only shows that Djindjic, who was convicted of theft in the past, is a repeat offender" !

It is unclear whether Vujacic pressed charges because he too was offended by what Djindjic had to say about his beloved president, or whether he is paid to press charges like many of his colleagues. In case we have taken a step back in time and once again have the right to personify ourselves with the president so that we can live in the belief that "all of us are the president", Vujacic is entitled to feel personally offended.The president's versatile nature probably played a part in the fact that he, the offended one, pressed no charges for would-be slander although he is a prominent law expert himself. Not even the public prosecutor saw it fit to press charges against Djindjic for "slander against the president", so the entire matter was left in the hands of Mr.Vujacic, who made a name for himself on Belgrade radio.


The Will Of The People

The information ministry successfully accomplished yet another mission of presenting the truth about Serbia last weekend. The opportunity to learn the truth in the Kolubara district, free of charge provided the people were told about it in an impartial and objective manner, was given to and taken by a number of Serbian reporters working for foreign media and the correspondents of Russian and Chinese newspapers and agencies. The ceremony was duly attended by the secretaries and attaches of some Asian countries, headed by the North Korean ambassador in Belgrade, Lim Song Ho.

The visitors toured the most ancient buildings in the region before attending the event of the day - a cattle exhibition in Lajkovac. The fair was an ideal opportunity for reporters, diplomats and his excellency, the ambassador, to acquaint themselves with Serbia's vast resources and potentials. After greetings from federal deputy, manager of the Lajkovac Agricultural community and chairman of the SPS Agricultural Board, Dragan Markovic, another minister held a lengthy speech while the Socialist party district coordinator added a touch of glamour to the event with his mere presence. The unofficial winner of the event, having received a standing ovation from the crowd, was heifer number 80, owned by one Slobodan Milosevic. When they faced the crowd to receive well-deserved congratulations, the heifer and its owner, a peasant from the village of Lukavac, were told the following by the director of the local Vet centre Nikola Radulovic: "Milosevic, you can do even better next year"!


An Orchestrated Applause

The independent Biljeljina daily Fokus takes a look back to the elections in

Bosnia and the role of former Serb Republic president Radovan Karadzic in the event: "Karadzic tensely followed the election campaign from his Pale home, which he rarely left. Sometimes, he would take pretty direct part in a rally, by telephone only though, such as the one in Banjaluka organized by the Serbian Democratic Party. A secretary in the Pale television Banjaluka studio complained for some time that Karadzic had called during live coverage of the SDS rally and asked her to intervene with the organizer of the rally so that more applause is obtained from the crowd. The secretary obliged, and the applause became much stronger, as seen on television, to Karadzic's great satisfaction.

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