News for February 28th, 1997
The Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia announced today that the decisions made on February 27 by a group of Deans and managers of the institutes at Belgrade university were completely illegal, and that such decisions aim at destroying the legality of Belgrade University, report the Belgrade media. At the same time, the Ministry of Education, as was stated in the announcement made by the Ministry of Information, informed the public that all conditions for the resumption of lectures at Belgrade universities existed. The Ministry of Education called upon all students, professors and teaching assistants to resume their work by March 3 at latest, in order not to lose the school year, which, according to the Ministry "certain circles at the University stand for".
The Deans and the Chancellor of the Art University in Belgrade expressed today their approval of the yesterday's decision of the Scientific-educational Council of Belgrade University (BU) to proclaim the eldest Vice-Dean, Dragan Kuburovic, the acting Chancellor of BU. The office of the Art University Chancellor fully supports the efforts made by the Scientific-educational Council of BU to end the blockade of the University, which effects the activities of the Art University as well, reads the announcement.
Belgrade students walked to the Ministry of Education today, in order to enquire about the progress of their initiative for the dismissal of prof. Mirjana Markovic PhD, a full-time professor at the School of Geography. Several thousand students gathered in the square in front of the School of Philosophy around 14:00, where they were addressed by Milena Dragicevic-Sesic, a professor at the School of Drama Arts. Cedomir Jovanovic, a member of the Initiative Board of the Student Protest, announced that the students would leave flowers in front of the Ministry of Education during the walk.
Belgrade students left a big red flower, made of sacks, nylon and paper, in front of the Ministry of Education. The flower was a present for Mirjana Markovic, the wife of Serbian President and a professor at the School of Geography. In front of the same building, students also left a proposal for her dismissal from the position of a full-time professor at Belgrade University.
The Student Protest 96/97 lodged a proposal at the first Municipal Court in Belgrade, demanding that a legal procedure for pronouncing the missing Chancellor of Belgrade University, Dragutin Velickovic, dead, announces the Main Board of the Student Protest.
In their today's session, the University Board for the defence of democracy concluded that the recent Chancellor of Belgrade University, Dragutin Velickovic, has no interest in education, scientific work and the functioning of the University, but only in its shutdown. "I am the University - is what prof. Dragutin Velickovic, PhD, the Chancellor of that University until recently, attempted to say on February 27, the University Day, taking in that way a step without precedent in the history of this institution," reads the announcement of the Board.
The University Board for the defence of democracy and the Main Board of the Student Protest concluded in their protest session today that "former" Chancellor Dragutin Velickovic had excluded himself from the academic community by locking the door of his office yesterday.
Serbian Association of medical doctors condemned today the "burst" of the police into the Chancellor's office yesterday. The Association considers that burst as the repeated violation of the autonomy of the University. The Association fully supports the attitude of the Scientific-educational Council of Belgrade University and, same as before, agrees with the decisions of the Main Board of the Student Protest, reads the announcement.
The University Law is "out of date and suitable for a one party rule", so there is no point in adapting it - a new University Law should be passed, believes Dragoljub Popovic, a professor at the Law School in Belgrade. In an interview for the "Demokratija" newspaper, Popovic stated that the new University Law should adjust the managing and the financial structures of the University to its autonomy. Popovic is one of a seven-member team of the Initiative Board for the defence of democracy, which has made a bill on the new University Law. The Initiative Board consists of professors and teaching assistants who participate in the Protest.
The Information Service of the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) announced today that the professors and students at Belgrade University had been humiliated by professor Mirjana Markovic yesterday, on the University Day. According to this announcement, the police have been protecting "the already former Chancellor in his office" since yesterday.
Zoran Djindjic, the Mayor of Belgrade, stated today that during his stay in London, he got certain promises that shortly after the normalization of the relations between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the international monetary institutions, certain credit potentials could be opened.
The Protest Board of parents of primary and secondary school students in Nis has announced that a group of parents will go on hunger strike in front of the building of Serbian Presidency in Belgrade on next Wednesday, should Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic refuse to receive them.
Lectures have been suspended in 113 of 276 primary and secondary schools in Belgrade, as was announced in Republic Square in Belgrade, where several thousand parents, students and teachers gathered today to express their support for the teachers who have been on strike for a month, demanding higher wage rates and payment of their salaries. "The contact between the Government's representatives and the negotiating team has been made," said Gordana Petrovic, a member of the negotiating team. She expressed a hope that the negotiations would be resumed tomorrow, and that during the weekend the public would be informed whether the strike was to continue or not.
Citizens of Sabac protested today, for the 89th time, against the irregularities in the local elections held on November 17th. The Spanish Embassy sent a telegram to the leaders of coalition Zajedno in Sabac, informing them that Felipe Gonzales' mandate ended exactly at the moment when he handed in the report, and that his return to FR Yugoslavia because of Sabac, Mladenovac and Novi Beograd depends exclusively on whether the presiding officer of the OSCE would request that an enquiry be made in these cases. The protest in Sabac continues, and it has been announced that Zoran Djindjic, president of the Democratic Party and Mayor of Belgrade, will visit this town on March 2.