News for March 17th, 1997

The Belgrade students continued their protest today, by walking through downtown Belgrade, lined one by one, exhibiting symbolically that they wiil protect each other when the protest ends. The tomorrow's protest of the students is scheduled for 14:00 tomorrow at the Plato before the School of Philosophy.

The Main Board of the Student Protest 96/97 reached a decision last night about the creation of a Student Parliament which will be dealing with all the issues significant to the students and the University. The Main Board of the Student Protest has adopted the Proposal about the organization and the conduction of the elections for the Student Parliament on March 27th. After the duration of 115 days, the Student Protest will thus be institutionalized. According to the Proposal, the Student Parliament will consist of two representatives from each school of the Belgrade University, University of Art, the BK UNiversity and the School of Theology, while the advanced schools will have the status of observers.

Radmila Milentijevic, Minister for Information in the Serbian Government stated today that the draft of the Information Law will be completed by the beginning or middle of May, and will afterwards be submitted to the Serbian Parliament. Milentijevic said at a press conference that she expects to recieve ideas and suggestions about all the paragraphs of the draft, and expressed hope that the panel discussion about this document will be continued in the Parliament of Serbia.

The Serbian Government will announce a public competition for the assignment of frequencies to the radio and television stations which are operating without permits in the beginning of April, Radmila Milentijevic, Minister for Information declared today, as Beta reports. At a press conference Milentijevic said that the permits for the use of frequencies will be given to the stations which meet the necessary technical, program and financial requirements.

Melissa Fleming, Spokesman of the OSCE headquarters in Vienna, said, among other things, in her comment to the absence of Milan Milutinovic, Yugoslav Minister of Foreign Affairs, from the talks with the leaders of the "Zajedno" coalition and the representatives of the Student Protest in Copenhagen, the following: "The invitation of Mister Petersen was issued to the leaders of the opposition and some of the government officials in Belgrade. With regards to the fact that a dialogue was supposed to take place, we were hoping that those partners would truly find themselves at the same table. And as for the statement of the Yugoslav Chief of Diplomacy, saying that he can just as well speak to the opposition and the students in Belgrade, I can say that it would be desirable, if it really happens. Let me remind you: the report of Felipe Gonzales appeals to a dialogue, which is why the presiding officer of the OSCE has offered exactly that, but under international supervision. However, if the Minister Milutinovic commences a conversation in Belgrade, we will salute it", Melissa Fleming, Spokesman of the OSCE said.

The University Board for the Defense of Democracy cites in its today's announcement that it has prepared the drafts of the Media Law and the Law on the University in association with a group of noted experts, and will present them to the public to discuss them. As it is pointed out, the Board acts together with the entire academic community, in order to oppose, by concrete actions, "the arrogant imposition of narrow, one-party interests, which are threatening to choke the University as an institution whose free educational and scientific activity is a necessary prerequisite for the democratic solution to the deep social crisis our country has been sinking in". The conclusion of the announcement is that, in the upcoming period, the main role in the student protest and the social movement, should be played by the professors and associates of the University, supported by the students, as in the previous months, with the full unity of the academic community, FoNet reports.

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