|Vidovdan Speech given by
HRH Crown Prince Alexander
In Birmingham on the 28 June 1998
We are again in Birmingham to celebrate together Vidovdan, a day full of symbolism and sorrow for all Serbs. My wife and I are very happy to be with you, with our Serbian people, on this particular day because Vidovdan unites all Serbs in remembering Kosovo heroes and all gallant men who have given their lives for King and Country. Glory to them!
The tragedy of Kosovo is being felt even more strongly this year since dark clouds have gathered again over Serbia, precisely over the issue of Kosovo. This is not the place to give an analysis of the Kosovo problem, but I would still like to point out certain facts which are of crucial importance for the future of our country and our people:
First: If there is no radical change in Belgrade, I fear we are going to lose Kosovo in the same way as we have already lost Knin, Krajina and a large part of Serbian Bosnia. It is for this reason that the Belgrade regime must go if we want to save what still can be saved.
Two: In all Serbian lands - Serbia, Montenegro and Republika Srpska - there must occur a genuine democratic rebirth if we want the Serbs to regain prestige in the world and ensure a better future for themselves and their children. Montenegro and Republika Srpska have already shown considerable progress in this respect, but our mother country - Serbia - is still under the mafia regime responsible for our catastrophe.
Three: Throughout the Serbian region there must exist the rule of law in which all the citizens would have identical rights as well as identical duties regardless of their religious, national or other differences. In other words, the same situation that obtains in England and other advanced countries. As Tsar Dusan proclaimed: The law must stand above all of us.
Four: As regards Kosovo, I would like to refer to a recent statement by the monks of Decani monastery in which they said clearly that "violence cannot be put right by violence" and called for an end to the conflict and for a dialogue between Serbs and Albanians. The Decani monks also came out in defence of "all innocent victims ... regardless of their nationality". They also said (and I quote here): "Both Serbs and Albanians must understand that in the 21st century Europe there is no room for ethnically clean territories and for mutual hatred. These Balkan regions will not be able to join the contemporary world on an equal footing until conditions are created for a peaceful common life of all peoples irrespective of their religion and their ethnic affiliation".
I have nothing to add to this since these are my thoughts too, and for a long time I have been putting them forward both to the Serbs and to the foreigners. I believe this is my sacred duty, and Saint Prince Lazar will be proud of us, his descendants, if we act in the way demanded by the monks of Decani. There are still great difficulties facing us, but the Serbian people have the strength to overcome them. With our faith in God, we shall win!
Ziveli and hvala vam!