News for December 2nd, 1996

15,000 students protested today in the capital, by gathering at the Plato in front of the Faculty of Philosophy at noon, and by marching along the streets of Belgrade after that. They were addresses today by Dusan Kovacevic, the best-known playwright in the country. He called upon students to persist in their protest.

Similarly as previous days, ther were no unwelcome incidents during today's protest.

Dragan Mladenovic, Minister of Education, had a meeting with Deans of Belgrade colleges. After they had waited for him for 45 minutes, the Minister showed up and handed them written material in which he demanded normal continuation of lecturs and suppressing of the Student Protest.

Even today, in very cold weather and heavy snow, around 70,000 people from Belgrade protested in the streets of the capital town. After the protest walk, a meeting at which the leaders of the coalition "Zajedno" spoke, was held at the Terazije Street.

Belgrade Police Department arrested 32 people "because of the violent and destructive rally". Criminal charges have been pressed against 10 people, and the remaining 22 were given to magistrate.

The Government of Serbia convicted the "vandal behaviour" of the citizens which "endangers the economy".

B92 (an independent radio-station) found out from reliable sources that the damage done on the building of TV Politika is 5 times smaller than it's been announced in this newspaper, and it's 16 times smaller ont the building of the state TV station in Takovska Street (RTS) than it's been announced tonight in the aofficial TV news.

"The coalition "Zajedno" and it's less and less numerous followers, walked down the streets of Belgrade again today." This was the only sentence that tonight official TV news announced about today's protest in the capital town.

Today the official media controled by the regime continued the satanization of the "Zajedno" coalition and the citizens that have been protesting for 3 weeks now in all the cities in Serbia in which this coalition came into power at the recent municipal elections.

The president of the regime syndicate of Serbia, Mr. Banovic, stated today that "the students have never lived better", so he didn't understand why were they protesting.

The session of the Serbian Parliament, scheduled ten days ago for tommorow, was suddenly canceled today.

The building of the Parliament will be closed until November 6th, under the excuse that it has to be cleaned. In this way the regime is trying to prevent the presence of the opposition MP's who have been on hunger strike in the Parliament building for 3 weeks now.

The President of the Montenegrin Parliament, Svetozar Marovic, from the ruling Democratic Socialist Party announced today that the will of the citizens expressed at the elections must be respected, and that a peaceful solution of this situation which ensued after the municipal elections in Serbia must be found.

USA have by now criticized the regime in Serbia in strongest terms. Today, the vice-president of the United States, Al Gore, accused the regime for violating citizen and human rights. This afternoon the State Department reacted with even stronger disapproval because of the annulment and falsifying of the electoral results, and because the suppresing the media. Milosevic was especially warned that using force against the protestors would be completely unacceptable.

EU has invited the regime in Serbia to respect democratic standards and human rights, as it was announced in today's statement from Brussels.

Carl Bildt warned the regime in Serbia not to use force against the protestors.

In the announcement of the Foreign Office, UK warned the regime not to use force and called upon the Serbian authorities to respect the democratic rights of the citizens.

German Minister Klaus Kinkel stated that Germany supported the democratic opposition in Serbia, and that he strongly disapproves the threats of the Serbian regime to use force against the protestors.

French Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed extreme concern with the arest of the protestors and suppresing of the media.

Greek press accused Milosevic of non-democratical behavior.

Greek PASOK, the ruling party, stated that it had nothing to do with last weeks visit of the junior members of this Party to Milosevich.

Spanish press and TV inform about the events in Serbia and about the non-democratic actions of Milosevich during last few weeks.

Constitutive session of the new Municipality Assembly has been held in Trstenik. The "Zajedno" coalition won the majority in Trstenik, and the representative of the Trstenik Socialists, Radovan (Raka) Radovic, promised constructive cooperation with the new Municipality goverment.

Yesterday, at the additional ballot ("the third round") in Jagodina, a member of the electoral committee from the SPS, Ninoslav Stojanovic, during the argument with the representatives of the "Zajedno" coalition, pulled out and cocked a pistol, and pointed it at the member of the committee from the coalition, Vladimir Jovic, announced "Nasa Borba" (a daily newspaper).

In Pirot, a rally consisting of a few thousand people was held as a sign of support to the free cities of Serbia. The protest gatherings have been scheduled for the following days too.

The protests have been held in Kraljevo, too. They will also be continued in Nis - the representative of Nis opposition stated that the protests have been reported to the officials until the 31st of December. Independent syndicates from Nis support the citizen's protests. The protests have also been held in Kragujevac.

This afternoon the disrupting of the Radio B92 stopped.

The protests have also been scheduled for tomorrow.

Thanks to novim@sezampro.yu

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