News for March 5th, 1997
Members of the leadership of the Student Protest "took" the building of the Chancellorship of the Belgrade University, where they held a session of the Main Board in the conference room. The main entrance was locked but a few students entered the building through a window and then opened a side door through the courtyard. They said that the Chancellorship is their's and that they have the right to be in the building. The Main Board of the Student Protest decided to invite the Deans of the Belgrade schools to come to the Chancellorship and hold a joint meeting which has been scheduled for 6 o'clock. The students walked through the courtyard of the building and then most of the students gathered at the Plato in front of the School of Philosophy, as the 103 previous days and walked to the ministry of education.
The vice-president of the Serbian government Ratko Markovic said today that the Republic government will urgently use all measures in its jurisdiction in order to normalize the work at the Belgrade University (BU), "including sanctions against those who acted against the University Law". Markovic "appealed to all factors at the Belgrade University and out of the University for classes to start on Monday, March 10", at today's press conference, at which the Republic Minister of Education Jovo Todorovic and the minister of Information Radmila Milentijevic also spoke. Todorovic said that the government will initiate "management oversight" by which it will establish which schools have accepted the demand for the beginning of class. He also said that the Deans of the BU were warned at today's meeting in the Serbian government that in case that classes are not continued after March 10 the schools will not be financed until September 30 of this year. Todorovic said that the Serbian government also named its part of the University Council and school councils.
The Deans of the Schools of Philosophy and Chemistry, Marija Bogdanovic and Ivan Juranic informed the members of the Main Board of the Student Protest that the minister of education of Serbia said that the Serbian government has decided that classes at the University must begin on Monday, March 10. The two Deans informed the student representatives of the main points of today's talks with the minister of education Jovo Todorovic, in the building of the Chancellorship of the Belgrade University, which the members of the student leadership entered today. Marija Bogdanovic and Ivan Juranic entered the Chancellorship through the courtyard because the main entrance was locked. The Deans told Todorovic that the beginning of classes "depends on one man and his resignation", and were answered that Chancellor Dragutin Velickovic has announced that he will hand in his resignation as soon as the students return to class.
The acting Chancellor of the Belgrade University Dragan Kuburovic stated asked the students to return to class on Friday for the whole day. After a two-hour meeting of the deans with the leadership of the Student Protest in the building of the Chancellorship Kuburovic reminded of the statement of Dragutin Velickovic that he will resign when the students return to class and emphasized that "if he goes against his word, that means that he doesn't want the students to return to class". The leadership of the Student Protest agreed to return to class on Friday, but announced the continuation of the protest, which has lasted for 104 days already, unless Chancellor Velickovic hands in his resignation by Saturday.
The vice president of the Democratic Center (DC) Bora Kuzmanovic expressed the fear that the authorities are ready to take repressive measures against the students of the Belgrade University (BU). The only solution to the crises is the resignation of the Chancellor Dragutin Velickovic, said Kuzmanovic at a press conference.
The Initiative Board of the Student Protest of the Law School in Belgrade invited the students of this school to a rally of support of the Dean tomorrow at 1 o'clock at the school. The rally of support for Dean Dejan Popovic was called because of the "attempt of the illegitimate and self-proclaimed Chancellor of the Belgrade University Dragan Velickovic to change the Dean of the Law School", announced the Initiative Board of the Student Protest of this school.
The Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) announced that clear threat of the president of the directorial of the Yugoslav Left (JUL) Mirjana Markovic to discharge the Deans and professors stands behind the authority of the Chancellor of the Belgrade University, Dragutin Velickovic.