News for March 13th, 1997

The session of the University Council, concerning the resignations of Dragutin Velickovic, Chancellor, and Vojin Djurdjevic, Student Vice-chancellor of the Belgrade University, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 19th - it was announced today by Tomislav Dragovic, the acting Chancellor, at the session of the Educational-scientific Council of the University.

The security of the National Museum refused to accept the exhibit of the Student Protest - a hand holding an index, made by the Students of the School of Philosophy - which the students attempted to present to the museum today after the protest walk. More than a few thousand students walked the counter-media route today, on the 112th day of their protest: Vasina, Makedonska (by the Politika building), Lole Ribara (by Radio-Belgrade), Takovska (by the state controlled television - RTS), and then headed to the National Museum through Bulevar Revolucije and Mose Pijade street.

The Student Organization of the University in Ljubljana is organizing a public speaker's platform tonight, on the subject of student and oppositional demonstrations in Belgrade and Serbia. The news agency STA announced that the guests of this platform will be students of the Belgrade University, as well as the reporters of "Mladina" and "Delo", Igor Mekina and Boris Jezz. This organization of students from Ljubljana is starting an action of gathering computer equipment as a token of their support and aid to the democratic movement of the Belgrade students, and to the newly assembled student organization and the student parliament.

Radmila Milentijevic, Minister for Information of the Republic of Serbia, expressed her hopes that the discussion which was opened regarding the first draft of the Pubic Information Law will induce "entire Serbia to start a dialogue". "In this way, by applying our collective wisdom, we will be able to reach the best possible solutions in the extremely significant area of public information", she pointed out in her announcement, which was broadcast last night by the Belgrade media. Minister Milentijevic then stated more precisely that "on the foundation of the democratic regulations of the Serbian Constitution, the first draft of the Law has, as its basic principle, established the protection of the freedom of public information, and in accordance with the duty of the Republic to provide the citizens with the right to information and equal conditions for the performance of the activities in this area". She reminded that the principles, applied in accordance with the already existing European and world standards (protection from the monopolization in the area of public information and the deregulation in the part which concerns the obligations of the journalists which are not regulated by law, but are to be defined in their Codex) do provide freedom, but are a responsibility as well.

Slavko Curuvija, manager of the Belgrade "Dnevni Telegraf", announced today in his statement to the Beta news agency that an association of the private newspaper publishers is to be founded and said that the Initiative Board of this association will summon all the private media in Serbia tomorrow to join them.

Serbian Minister for Information Radmila Milentijevic stated this evening at the panel discussion in Serbian Parliament that the suggested version of the public information law was "the best solution the Government could offer at this moment", but she also mentioned her expectation that the public would offer further suggestions for the improvement of the law. The panel discussion was attended by delegates of the Serbian Socialist Party, the New Democracy and the Democratic Association of Hungarians in Vojvodina, whereas the coalition Zajedno, the Serbian Radical Party and the Democratic Party of Serbia had announced earlier that they would not participate in the discussion.

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