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August 2, 1997
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 304

Yellow Monday

by Velizar Brajovic

Following the well known yellow beam, Montenegro acquired a - yellow Monday. The drama commenced on the Golubovci airport where the plane of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) delegation landed bearing and headed by the party vice president and candidate for president of Serbia, Zoran Lilic. The delegation, according to the testimony of an anonymous airport employee, remained in the plane for an unusually long time. As to what was going on inside, no one knows for now, just as it isn't known whether the delegation had voted to immediately take off for Belgrade as certain well informed individuals claim. The TV cameras recorded that upon stepping out of the plane, Lilic's hand was squeezed by one of the protocol councilors of the president of Montenegro.

BARRICADES: All hell broke loose when the guests entered the armored Audis following a single motorcycle policeman. All of a sudden on the bridge over the now dried up Cijevne river a tractor appeared with a trailer, dumping two automobile wrecks on the road which was sufficient to stop the cars with the SPS delegation and make them a perfect target for a group of young men who appeared out of the blue, armed with tomatoes and eggs. When they ran out of that ammunition, stones were thrown at the cars. That went on while the automobile wrecks were speedily shifted and on that occasion Zoran Lilic's chief of security excelled at catching flying rocks while trying to protect the windows of the automobile in which Lilic was seated. At one point he even drew out his gun, however no shots were fired as the fierce "welcome committee" retreated upon hearing the threatening police sirens in the distance.

The automobiles sped towards the "Gorica" villa in front of which a few thousand demonstrators stood, hurriedly shifted from their location in front of the building of the president of Montenegro, where they had scheduled their protest rally for noon. As they weren't given power for their PA system, they headed towards the "Gorica" villa led by a man who was waving a banner on which the following words were written: "Momir, you should dye your hair blonde as well", obviously inspired by Marko Milosevic's new image.

Otherwise, the people who were running into the shops and appearing with bags full of eggs and tomatoes could have served as prediction that the guests would be welcomed in a thus far unseen manner. They spread out along the road which leads to Gorica, seeking shade under the pine trees, shouting out pejorative messages to Momir, Slobodan, Mira and the SPS. The well known song which follows the rhythm of the Makarena song was echoing: "Good morning Mr. Slobo, do you know where little Moma is", banners were swaying bearing messages which read "The road to hell is Slobodan, as guaranteed by little Moma", "While Milo is handing out pensions, Momir is chopping up Montenegro", "SPS duped Serbia, however it won't dupe Montenegro" and similar. The policemen took up their positions, trying to clear the road which led to the iron gates of the "Gorica" villa. "Here they come", was a shout which was answered by a mustached man with: "We've got them by the balls now", choosing as favorable a position as possible for launching his eggs. The police couldn't hold back the demonstrators, the drivers slowed down while eggs and tomatoes started sticking to the Audis and stones were laid down due to the general commotion, however sticks, banners, fists and legs started showering the cars in which the guests took to the floors, face down. All in all, unseen shrieks, thrashes and overall racket. The policemens' backs bore the brunt of most of the hits and the cars finally managed to pass through the gates which shut in front of the revolted citizens.

Songs and chants carried on for another twenty minutes, while special police squads poured in, and the demonstrators, extremely pleased with their overall efficiency decided to disperse, obviously aware that to repeat the welcome upon their departure could have bitter consequences for them. They left the following behind - the neighboring buildings were decorated with prominent banners, leftover eggs were left to fry on the hot asphalt, while the drivers were hastily removing the yellow and uncovering the fabric gleam to their battered automobiles.

Such a scene had never been witnessed in Podgorica before. Following all that, president Momir Bulatovic, smiling to the journalists, stated how he was forced to apologize to the guests for the slight inconvenience upon their arrival, then accused the police for not having protected those who, as he said, "have different political beliefs".

SIDE ENTRANCE: Some Belgrade journalists who awaited the guests at the airport were astounded to note that no one from the hosts' five member delegation had met the guests at the airport but had instead sent off the protocol councilor.

The hosts awaited their guests at the villa.

Bulatovic immediately demanded in writing that Djukanovic take energetic measures to pinpoint the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP) top officials' responsibility, obviously convinced that the scandal with the SPS delegation's arrival provided him with a trump card in the game of ousting the minister of police and head of state security. He also demanded that Djukanovic apologize to SPS and Serbia, which made Bulatovic's intentions clear - to turn this scandal into one of the key issues for proving the anti-Yugoslav sentiments of his political adversaries.

Djukanovic sent a message to Bulatovic that he (Bulatovic) along with his associates was the sole culprit and that he had consciously jeopardized the individual security of the SPS delegation members since, as Djukanovic stated, he refused to allow MUP to take part in the organization of the visit, followed by the fact that Bulatovic wishes to present his political survival as a condition for the survival of Yugoslavia and, finally, that he hopes that his intentions have been seen through by the citizens of Montenegro as well as by the guests whom he had spoken to. At the end Djukanovic said that Bulatovic could provide additional information in his further communication with the SPS delegation, and as far as apologies go: "As prime minister, I should only apologize to the citizens of Montenegro because I am forced to communicate in this manner, via the public, with the president of the republic of Montenegro."

The fact remains that the Serbian MUP had not informed the Montenegrin MUP of the SPS delegation's arrival in keeping with the regulations.

At the moment when the incidents had commenced in Golubovci, the police asked for Bulatovic's consent to allow the delegation to enter the villa from a - side entrance and to thus prevent the guests' contact with the rallied citizen

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