Esteemed Members of the Clergy
Thank you cordially for inviting my wife and I to join you here in Cleveland in celebrating the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Serbian Unity Congress. We both wish to extend our warmest congratulations for your anniversary. It is a pleasure to be asked to address you at this convention whose theme is the “Crossroads to National Unity and Freedom”. For at this point in time our long suffering homeland is indeed at its most decisive moment of truth in its modern history.
At this time, I would like to take this opportunity to express my congratulations to a couple of characters on their excellent duplication of material they sent me now and before the New York convention a few years ago. The identical material advised me not be here in Cleveland visiting with all you charming well-paid and prosperous MUP and UDBA agents!
Our homeland is seriously impoverished and our country is going rapidly into the abyss. The economy is receding at an alarming pace contrary to the regimes sick propaganda. It means collapse with major social consequences. It has to do with large extent to the aggression of NATO bombing, gross mismanagement, sanctions and isolation.
The terrible hostile bombing created an enormous humanitarian disaster
and our people suffer appallingly as winter swiftly approaches. Our citizens
can no longer afford to endure politically, economically or physically
the series of disastrous consequences of the last decade’s catastrophic
state policies enacted by the regime in Belgrade and the whole series of
blunders and indeed games of the west.
We are now fifty years after Second World War still saddled with an illegitimate communistic opportunistic bunch of leaders and their exclusive regime coupled with a mafia base. The people in Serbia and Montenegro during the last decade had the additional misfortune to become hostages to the regime that shamelessly blended their communist methods with their corrupted economic practices. The regime’s political and economic elite of 7000 or so individuals is a tightly knit exclusive regal club of calculating thieves and swindlers that will stop at nothing to perpetuate their bloodsucking hold on power, luxury and personal privilege whilst the people suffer.
You have all very clearly witnessed the results over the years: the Serb communities in Krajina and Slavonia have been expelled or eliminated with foreign assistance and sanction by the Belgrade regime, our people in Bosnia are cornered and now the Serb existence in Kosovo and Metohija has been all but erased. The word Serb has become shockingly like a four-letter word. We are all horrified.
Should the Serbian and Montenegrin people allow the regime to persist
in power, then trouble will be generated and soon explode in Vojvodina
and Sandzak of Novi Pazar, and Montenegro will secede. There would be further
reduction of territory just to maintain the regime in power repeatedly
using negative nationalism and religion.
In the entire tragedy of Kosovo, only the Serbian Orthodox Church lived up to its great historical heritage, by proving to be the true shepherd of its flock. His Holiness Patriarch Pavle, his bishops and priests remained there together with our people, to protect them from revenge and hatred, after all other representatives of the state institutions left the province and the KLA or UCKA took over with foreign help.
At the end of June, my wife and I traveled from Montenegro to Pec where we met with the patriarch; we witnessed the suffering of all the people, and the madness that human beings can do to each other. There are no angels when madness prevails. And did my wife and I encounter with our eyes, noses and ears every form of lunacy perpetrated by all sides.
I spoke personally with the patriarch and warmly congratulated him and his Synod for the long awaited, but brave and excellent moral stand demanding that, for the good of the nation, the regime must resign and allow more competent people to take up the helm of the state and bring in real democratic reforms.
That loud and clear message was keenly picked up by the citizens in dozens of protest meetings all over Serbia which culminated in the August 19th anti-regime demonstration in Belgrade that brought into the city centre approximately two hundred thousand people. The passionate demand for immediate and drastic democratic reforms includes before all the creation of the provisional national unity government with a mandate. A government composed of politically independent professionals, whose chief task, after a reasonable designated term of office of approximately one to three years, to implement meaningful constitutional as well as legislative executive and judicial reforms. This sane plan would pave the way for the very first real and important general elections. The electorate would have for the first time all the facts to go to the ballot box with a sense of purpose and duty for the homeland.
The interim government has the task of aggressively pursuing real economic reforms; revamping social services, phasing in true privatisation and implementing a bona fide market economy. Reforms in Serbia are crucial for survival. Serbia is the core nation of the region and until Serbia is at peace with itself there will not be peace in the region. The possibility of democracy and human rights in Kosovo is also very much dependent on what is going to happen in Serbia. The interim government must close down the sickening and degrading propaganda machine and free the media from its shackles.
Appointed commissions would oversee the transition to a true free Serbian
media. The strange war legislation that still applies in Serbia must be
revoked. The universities must also be restored to their former academic
self-governance. Good sound education at all levels is paramount. Our youth
is our future and vital for our continued survival as a nation. The critical
Brain drain of the Serb elite professionals, intellectuals and qualified
people must end. We must provide the secure environment and conditions.
In the institutes of learning, the manuals of history and geography have
to be reformed. There must be positive nationalism and learning with some
European approach leading away from the regime plan of perpetual isolation.
After the set period of important reforms, elections must be conducted
under strict OSCE rules. The elections will then bring our Serbia a truly
representative parliament. Immediately this government must in its first
session transform itself into a
Fundamental changes demanded today by the forces of the Serbian democratic opposition and people are the necessary minimum for a sound beginning toward the country’s economic recovery and political stability.
I firmly demand a united opposition and no more trivial games or prima Donna antics. Our people deserve mature politicians that put the peoples interests first. I also request that all Serbs throughout Diaspora should support and demand a united opposition as well, for only firmly united with the progressive forces for change in the homeland will we be able to stand up to the regime who now destroys us all and cast it out. There is nothing in our history that prevents us from achieving the transformation accomplished by a score of other former communist countries. We must move forward in a united manner for the salvation of our people, state and honor.
I will be firmly consulting all our entities and prominent people in the Diaspora to convene a summit in the close region. This summit will be joined with entities and prominent individuals from the homeland. I will be firm along the lines – to be or not to be. Unity or become history. We owe it to our people and future generations.
We cannot afford to be a North Korea of Europe or like the former Enver Hoxa’s Albania isolated from the rest of the world and perpetually immigrating to all corners of the planet. Our country must make available a sound future and security for all citizens. Why are we here in Cleveland? We should be in our homeland. Anyhow, take note that the eleventh anniversary of the SUC in the year 2000 must be take place in the reforming homeland and not in a far away foreign land. Come home, there is nothing like going back to one’s roots.
This is truly the last hour or even the last few minutes before midnight to take away the helm of the state from those who have grossly misused it, injured it and place it in the hands of more responsible and capable people. Only then will our citizens will feel secure to come out and serve our country in making it once more great by creating the great civil society we need.
When the vital initial reforms and the basis of a civil society are in motion, I know that the nation as a whole will easily identify that the wisest, and most just path away from chaos will clearly be in the honorable renewal of our historic constitutional monarchy. Our monarchy, whose legitimacy was upheld by the generations of the nation building Karadjordjevic dynasty, which I today symbolize, has been and will always be the single protector and guarantor of our country’s too long denied embrace of constitutional order and true democracy.
Clearly, the monarchy is the unique symbol of unity, continuity and the defender of democracy and human rights. The monarchy is best guarantee for the future, it will also guarantee our return to the European and international community. The monarchy will open the door of the European Union, provide security, and assist in rallying the reconstruction of the nation. After all half of the European Union are constitutional monarchies and highly developed democracies. Monarchy will also provide the incentive for all forms of cooperation with the neighbouring countries. I am ready and most certainly not in my eighties.
The Diaspora can help best by being united and always alert of the cunning games of the regime. This does not mean rejecting personal opinions at the individual level, but at the policy level, the Diaspora needs to firmly support democracy, human rights and reform in Serbia without argument and without reservation. The Diaspora has a range of excellent political contacts in the United States and elsewhere. It must use these contacts to gather support for real democracy and reform. It must not squander its political capital by internal discord. The Diaspora possesses tremendous reserves of ‘know how’ expertise, especially in the functioning of a free market economy. In our homeland, these skills are in need of support after so many years of communism and recklessness.
As far as possible, the Diaspora should find ways of making their wisdom available in the homeland, for example by organizing teams of experts to provide hands-on skills training. With regard to investment, the right moment will come, but once the rule of law is established. Diaspora capital investment will be vital and a great morale booster. Much as there is a great will to invest, it cannot continually fall into the hands of the corrupt regime and its exclusive club.
There is a desperate need for humanitarian aid on a very large scale. Winter approaches alarmingly quickly. However, the regime is set on the people suffering through isolation and dependence upon the fraudulent system. Therefore, humanitarian aid must break through the regime’s borders and get to the people. You can help by uniting and organizing humanitarian efforts to get to the people. Our most important asset is the people. Our people must survive and get through the winter. My wife will be glad to volunteer the knowledge she has obtained over the last decade.
The future for our citizens is in the rebirth of our great country recognizing all people regardless of their ethnic origin or religious belief. You know very well that should regime continue in power then all the games would continue to flourish.
The regime wants all of us to fall into the trap of Montenegrin succession and therefore justifying the continuation of the power base in Belgrade for more time. Another lease of life. Remember the regime will always plot to ensure its continuation and domination, use fronting tactics and place blame on someone else or somewhere else. We cannot forever blindly and stupidly fall into the ambushes of the regimes sordid games.
We must not fight each other, Serbs are brothers and sisters not enemies, and there must be no revenge. All citizens of our great homeland are important. Our people are our most vital asset.
We must be responsible for our destiny and show our people and the people of the region, and the world that we are an exceptionally capable and astute nation. We cannot afford to lose any more citizens and land. We must look forward to retain territory and gain land through democracy and human rights. Let us stop the regimes tactics of using deceit, deception and disinformation. We have no option, but to turn the page, go forward and the future will be ours. Belgrade will become our great capital once again. Yugoslavia must be Serbia, Montenegro, Republika Srpska, the Drina is not a border. With a democratic government in Belgrade, everything will be possible including other entities in a new democratic union respecting all citizens.
Finally, thank you all and one closing item. We must remember
this conventions theme “The Crossroads to National Unity and Freedom”.
Therefore, the Serbian Unity Congress’s greatest contribution can come
from its name: Unity.
Samo Sloga Srbina Spasava.
Zivela Slobodna Srbija!
Copyright © 1997 HRHCP Aleksandar II All Rights Reserved