Copyright 1986 The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC Summary of World Broadcasts November 10, 1986, Monday SECTION: Part 2 Eastern Europe; B. INTERNAL AFFAIRS; YUGOSLAVIA; EE/8412/B/1; LENGTH: 3069 words HEADLINE: Group of Citizens from Kosovo Received in SFRY Assembly SOURCE: Yugoslav News Agency in Serbo-Croat (i) 1609 gmt 3 (ii) 1437 gmt 4 (iii) 1852 gmt 7 and (iv) 1736 gmt 7 Nov 86 Excerpts from report Tanjug in Serbo-Croat 1052 gmt BODY:The recent attempt by a 17-year-old Albanian to rape a 10-year-old girl from the Jakovljevic family in the Kosovo village of Plemetina was the direct cause of today's [3rd November] arrival by a group of more than 150 locals of Serbian and Montenegrin nationality from this and surrounding villages in Pristina Municipality at the SFRY Assembly. This group was joined by individuals from Smederevo and other places where Serbs who have moved there from Kosovo live in large numbers. The conversation, which was chaired by Nedjo Borkovic, Vice-President of the Assembly, was attended by Veselin Djuranovic, member of the SFRY Presidency, Milan Pancevski, member of the LCY Central Committee Presidium, Branislav Panic, [presumably Branislav Ikonic; Panic untraced] President of the Serbian Assembly, and Petar Vajovic, Federal Secretary for Justice and Organisation of the Federal Administration.
The first to take the floor were members of the Jakovljevic family who, not concealing their extreme bitterness, spoke of the disagreeable incident. The rape was attempted during our wedding celebrations, said the uncle of the assaulted girl, Jovica Jakovljevic, and wondered what would have happened if the tipsy wedding guests had taken their revenge. The father of the little girl, Petar Jakovljevic, sought a significantly more severe punishment for the perpetrator of these and similar crimes.
What the people from Kosovo said, as could be expected, also extended to the most important problems in Kosovo. It is a sorry state of affairs when a tractor driver like me, Svetislav Tanaskovic said, must speak about the difficulties of Serbs and Montenegrins from the floor of the Federal Assembly. Today, he said, we feel as if we are living in the middle of Albania. . . It is impermissible that while children throughout the country are sleeping peacefully, the little ones of Serbian and Montenegrin nationality in Kosovo are afraid, Tanackovic said.
There were also a number of direct criticisms of members of the highest leadership in Kosovo and it was stressed, some of whom regardless of whether they were Albanians, Serbs or Montenegrins, were not seen as guaranteeing a settlement of the situation or providing protection from injustice. There had been plenty of political arguments. We have had enough of these, Zagorka Jakovljevic stressed, and added that this visit to the Assembly would not have come about had provincial leaders wanted to come for talks to the village of Plemetina when they were invited. As a member of the LC, I maintain, she stressed, that the situation in Kosovo will not be sorted out if we remain silent about the problems.
Typically, almost no speakers failed to mention the emigrants from Albania as the chief exponents of the counter-revolution and separatism and the instigators of the emigration of Serbs and Montenegrins from the province. Complementing Velimir Andjelkovic, chairman of the local community of the SAWP of the village of Plemetina, who demanded that at this gathering a guarantee be given for a concrete solution to the problems of Kosovo, Dimitrije Jakovljevic in effect even said that if this were not done there would be nothing else for Serbs and Montenegrins to do but to defend themselves with arms or emigrate. . .
Many participants in the debate agreed with the view of Ljubisa Djordjevic that far more severe measures should be taken against those who were doing everything to ensure that as few Serbian and Montenegrin families as possible remained in Kosovo. We are here, Milika Aleksic said, for you to help us to implement consistently the constitution and legal equality.
Expressing their distrust of the work of the provincial law enforcement and judicial organs, it was also pointed out that it was still difficult to track down perpetrators of crimes which violated national equality and that those that were found were being punished with inappropriately mild sanctions. Hence the reserve shown towards the results recently achieved by the working groups of the federation and Serbia in Kosovo. . .
The request was stressed a number of times today for the convocation of an extraordinary session of the SFRY Assembly, at which there would be a detailed discussion of the situation in Kosovo and measures adopted which should not be allowed to be disregarded.
The Assembly and Presidency of the SFRY will soon consider the implementation of the conclusions of the Presidium and the Presidency on Kosovo, the implementation of which has been worked on intensively since their adoption in March, Veselin Djuranovic, a member of the SFRY Presidency, stressed in his address to the group of citizens from Kosovo, 30 of whom had spoken earlier.
I am not saying, Djuranovic said, that there are no major problems and that there is no need for us to be more effective, but
irredentism in Kosovo cannot be rooted out in a short time. We are not deceiving ourselves that the irredentists are defeated
and we are using all constitutional and legal measures against them. All those, however, who think that Kosovo will fall to
someone else are deceiving themselves, for this country knows what the gains of the revolution are and it will defend them
with all its might, he stressed. . .
[Djuranovic outlines measures being taken to investigate and right situation in Kosovo. Notes success of ban on trade in immovable property in Macedonia]
Practical moves towards integrating organisations from Kosovo, Serbia, Vojvodina and Belgrade should not be underestimated as part of the political action we wish to implement.
Djuranovic categorically refuted the harsh words directed at the leaderships. In particular, he stressed that repression should not be the main way to stabilise the situation in Kosovo, but joint political action by all socialist forces, and that this loathsome attempted rape in the village of Plemetina should be politically and morally condemned and not just criminally, he added, after recalling that in the last five years in Kosovo more than a 1,000 people had been sentenced and 7,000 punished for minor offences .
Djuranovic then warned that all Albanians should not be equated with the irredentists and that the same resolve should be displayed in confronting all hostile forces, regardless of whether they were Ballists, Chetniks or Ustashas, or anyone seeking to break up the country.
Accepting as justified the criticisms and dissatisfaction over the slowness of individual organs in solving many of t he problems and inconsistencies, Djuranovic stressed that there had to be a decisive stand against these phenomena, as well as a consistent policy and effective action.
Stating that many of the assessments made in the debate coincided with the stances of the Presidium and the Presidency, Djuranovic pointed out that in Kosovo the process of ideo-political differentiation had not been fully implemented. We must create more resolute measures of differentiation regardless of people's positions, Djuranovic stressed.
Turning to the forthcoming constitutional changes, which received considerable mention in the discussion, Djuranovic rejected demands that the SFRY Constitution of 1974 and the Serbia and Kosovo Constitutions be ''abolished''. This would not, he stressed, be accepted by the majority in Yugoslavia. By the end of the year the SFRY Presidency will submit a proposal for changes to the constitution which will not be formal but will be an important stage in the development of self-management, democracy, the consolidation of equality and greater efficiency and cohesion in our Federation. The changes will be aimed at removing the sensitive points in the political system and creating the conditions for the concentration of all the social forces on solving the economic crisis, which is the worst to affect the country.
Veselin Djuranovic dissociated himself from the harsh political judgements which individual participants in the debate had made at the expense of Azem Vlasi, President of the Kosovo LC Provincial Committee Presidium. Pointing out that Vlasi was working in difficult conditions in which more experienced cadres would not easily be able to orientate themselves either, Djuranovic stressed that people should not be disqualified politically in the absence of a firm conviction and sufficient arguments. Vlasi's work as a youth leader and this in Tito's time had been valued. This was not to justify, Djuranovic stressed, a single action taken by the leadership in Kosovo, including the failure to respond to [the invitation of] talks with citizens, because every Serb, Montenegrin or Albanian could have talks with the most senior leaders. If mistakes had been made and they had the question should be raised in a resolute manner, he added.
The guarantee which we can give is that we will fight with all our might for the implementation of the conclusions of the Presidium and the Presidency and try to mop up any negligence, weakness, error or injustice. But we must all join forces to fight resolutely and effectively along these lines, Veselin Djuranovic concluded.
Stressing that the LCY Central Committee would be informed about today's discussion, Milan Pancevski, a Presidium member, stressed that the fight against the irredentists would be fought with full vigour and that this included the halting of the emigration of Serbs and Montenegrins and the realisation of the rights of all citizens in Kosovo. . .
Nedjo Borkovic, the Vice-President of the SFRY Assembly, concluding the talks, announced that the so-called petition of the 2,011, mentioned separately in these talks, would be sent for consideration in the regular proceedings of the Assembly.
[Note: Another attempted rape by an Albanian youth of a young girl of Serbian nationality had come to light, Tanjug reported on 8th November (in Serbo-Croat 1052 gmt). The 15-year-old assailant, R.S., had attacked the girl on 4th November between the villages of Donja Sipasnica and Carakovce in Kosovska Kamenica Municipality. He had been detained and criminal proceedings were to be taken against him. Meanwhile, the boy's father, Hamdi Sabanija, had been sentenced to 60 days' imprisonment and fined 4,000 dinars for supporting his son, who, he said, had been forced to admit the offence by the security organs, and for neglecting his upbringing.]
(ii) Text of announcement by Pristina LC Municipal Committee:
The public information media was today [4th November] sent the following e xplanation by the Pristina LC Municipal Committee:
''As some newspaper reports of the visit by a group of citizens of Serbian and Montenegrin nationalities to the SFRY Assembly on 3rd November, have created the impression that leading officials in the province did not want to address the group at its meeting in the village of Plemetina, we feel obliged to give the following explanation:
The Plemetina village community structures invited a number of officials to the meeting convened on 30th October. Among those who attended were Bozidar Lazic, President of the [Pristina] Municipal Assembly; Daut Jasanica, President of the Pristina SAWP Municipal Conference; Izet Sehu, President of the TU federation municipal council; Jordan Stanojevic, President of the municipal veterans association; Sulj Rama, member of the Presidium of the Pristina SAWP Municipal Conference; Hiljmi Ismaili, Executive Secretary in the Pristina LC Municipal Committee; and Milos Kovacevic, member of the Pristina political aktiv.
It is true that invitations were also extended to a number of provincial officials, among them Azem Vlasi, President of the Presidium of the Kosovo LC Provincial Committee, and Svetislav Dolasevic, President of the Kosovo Assembly.
However, responsible officials in the municipality were of the opinion that as they were better informed about the situation and relations in the village and could therefore give assistance, provide insight into the events and point to further actions and measures, their presence alone at the meeting in Plemetina convened to discuss the political and security situation after the attempted rape of an 11-year old girl (on 19th October) would be enough.
The officials from the municipality informed the meeting that the comrades from the provincial leaderships were absent for objective reasons and that owing to their other duties were unable to attend the meeting. The meeting of the Plemetina SAWP local organisation of 30th October was frustrated and disrupted by the provocative behaviour of individuals from other localities who attended the meeting uninvited,'' the announcement by the Pristina LC Municipal Committee states.
(iii) Text of report:
In the village of Preoce near Pristina, a meeting was held this evening [7th November] of the branch of the SAWP, at which it was explained to the local people who had gathered why their fellow citizen Svetislav Tanaskovic had been detained and why he had been sentenced by the municipal court for minor offences in Pristina to 60 days imprisonment. At the same time it was announced to the locals that the Higher Court for Minor Offences had deferred the decision of the municipal court that the sentence be upheld. Consequently, Tanaskovic, who had been detained last night, had been released from detention today and allowed to conduct his own defence whilst at liberty.
Svetislav Tanaskovic was sentenced because on 30th October, at a meeting of local people in the village of Plemetina, he had spoken out from unacceptable positions, sought the replacement of all leaderships in the country and in the republics and provinces, disparaged their reputation, insulted individual leaders and blamed them for everything which is happening in Kosovo. At this evening's meeting Tanaskovic himself admitted that he had made a mistake.
The detention of Svetislav Tanaskovic provoked a reaction amongst local people of this and surrounding villages and in this connection about 500 people of Serbian and Montenegrin nationalities gathered at this evening's meeting. The classroom of the village school in Preoce was too small to take them all so a significant number remained outside. Although it was held in an atmosphere at times irascible and polemical, the meeting, which lasted two hours, was completed thanks above all to the persistence and patience of those socio-political workers of the province and the municipality present and activists from the local community. The meeting was also attended by Nebi Gasi, a member of the Presidency of the SAP of Kosovo, Slobodan Dimic, a member of the Presidium of the Pristina LC Municipal Committee, and Momcilo Trajkovic, Executive Secretary in the municipal committee.
(iv) Text of report of 8th November Belgrade 'Politika' article, ''Endless discussions'':
The latest meeting between high-ranking Yugoslav officials and quite a large group of Serbs and Montenegrins will be remembered, inter alia, for the fact that this was the first time that these people felt the need to link their personal position and collapse of intra-national relations in Kosovo with relations in Serbia and constitutional solutions writes 'Politika' in tomorrow's [8th November] commentary entitled ''Endless discussions''.
Noting a series of important events connected with the problems of the constitution ever since the 1960s, commentator Slavoljub Djukic writes that as time went by every discussion on the situation in Kosovo led to a discussion on relations in Serbia as well. Enumerating all the political documents adopted on Kosovo and relations in Serbia and stating that the political leadership of Serbia never explicitly demanded constitut-ional changes, but a ''re-examination of the constitutional practice'', the commentator, inter alia, writes:
Unfortunately, besides the logic of democratic practice and the principle of ''general good'', which does not recognise fetishes and taboos, the gr eat topic of the constitution of 1974 remained intact. Every attempt to come face to face with certain truths was greeted with arrogance and intolerance. This is, in fact, a shocking fact in a democratic society, because whether the constitution and other matters in need of change will in fact be changed remains to be seen. In any case, it has been put together in such a way that it cannot be altered without general consent. But to reject a discussion in advance, in the manner of ''it is out of the question'', provides a good illustration of the political situation in Serbia and Yugoslav society.
There are proper objections, for example that the discussion on constitutional changes cannot be reduced to a conversation about the position of Serbia, as some like to think. The problems are much deeper and more delicate in the Yugoslav community. We can also attempt to estimate the extent in which disorderly relations in Serbia and the constitutional position of the republic have hindered the political stabilisation of Kosovo. There is no doubt about the fact that they have hindered it. Only people with misconceptions or politically dubious interests can ignore the fact that relations in Serbia directly reflect events in Kosovo and Yugoslavia. The very fact that the Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo turn to the federation, and not their respective republics, illustrates the real state of affairs.
Finally, the fact that in the fifth decade of the existence of the republic of Serbia this topic is being raised, when such topics are usually discussed at the initial stage of every community, is an additional argument about the degree of sensitivity of the problem and its seriousness for the entire Yugoslav society. Those who think that it can be resolved by a compromise and delays in facing the whole truth only add fuel to the already heated atmosphere and create fresh grounds for the awakened forces of dark and unrest.
It is easy to abuse the statements of the Serbs and Montenegrins on the constitution of 1974 in the SFRY Assembly. But this would be of no use. We cannot expect people who bear their burden and who are not gifted orators to be precise in their statements and to be able to read between the lines. It would be better to ponder about their statements and the reason why they felt the need to come to the SFRY Assembly.
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