News for March 16th, 1997

Students of both Belgrade Universities, which have been protesting for the past 115 days organized a "car rally" at the Novi Beograd Usce under the name "Dad, look at me drive". The speed race was attended by 28 vehicles which were divided into groups according to the school of the Belgrade University they represented, and the winner was the team from the "low school for street dealing" with driver "Bro - named Marko" (allusion to the son of the president of Serbia and former race car driver - Marko Milosevic). The first student rally was opened by Spasoje Krunic, the president of the Executive Board of the City Parliament, who wished the students luck in the race and said that the "coalition Zajedno did not enter the City Parliament - it was carried in by the students. The student rally ended without any incidents, even though the student security did not provide safety precautions, because of the absence of the traffic police.

Slobodan Homen, presiding over the Main Board of the Student Protest '96/97 stated that the student protest will soon be institutionalized with the founding of the Student Parliament which will consider questions important to the students and the University. Homen also stated that the idea to found such a body evolved from the need for the Student Protest to continue, which was not the case with earlier student protests. The Student Parliament would take over the authority of the Main Board of the Student Protest. The Student Parliament will consist of two representatives from every school, just as the Main Board, and the representatives will be elected by secret, democratic elections at all schools.

The minister of education, Jovo Todorovic stated today that he does not understand why part of the Belgrade students continued the students. "The Chancellor (Dragutin Velickovic) gave his word and handed in his resignation. The students also gave their word that they would return to class when he handed in his resignation. The rest is known. The only thing we don't know and understand is why some of them didn't hold the promise they gave." said Todorovic for TV Politika. He added that the preparations of the proposal for the new University law are in their final phase and that changes in the university management, university autonomy and participation of the students in the university management will be offered.

The Protest Board of the schools of the University of Nis appealed to all political parties in this city to help the founding of a student radio through donations. All students believe that the media which they will manage themselves "will achieve the ideal objectivity in the greatest degree" said members of the protest board of the Nis schools at today's press conference.

The Yugoslav minister of foreign affairs, Milan Milutinovic did not answer the invitation of the Niels Helvega Petersen, presiding of OSCE, to meet with the leaders of the coalition Zajedno in Copenhagen on March 17, and discuss the democratization of Serbia. Milutinovic left for a two-day visit to France, and said before leaving that the government can meet with the opposition in Belgrade and that intermediates are not needed.

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