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HRH CROWN PRINCE ALEXANDER
Commemorative Academy in Thessaloniki
How are we going to enter the new century? The new millennium? The time which should also be ours? We cannot do that burdened by hatred, lawlessness and irresponsibility. We must not do that burdened by evil in us and around us, not for the sake of others, but for our own sake. We must stop experimenting with our destiny: we owe that to ourselves and to our children since our country does not belong only to us. It was entrusted to us by our ancestors and our descendants expect to inherit it in a better shape.
If we are to enter the new century with hope, we must first regain our health, and the treatment must start with the sick person, not with the person next to him. The current sick regime cannot be healed and cannot become legitimate. Its nature is contagious and it destroys everything it comes into contact with. Our country cannot heal so long as sickness is in charge. This explains why, when we say that the present regime must go, we are not talking politics, but discussing a health measure!
What will we take with us into the new century? The Serbs are an ancient people who possess two great centuries-old institutions: the Monarchy and the Church. Ancient peoples cultivate what is good, build on their heritage, observe a codex of ethics, and draw from the past the lessons for the future. We too must follow that road. Violence is not our heritage, we refuse to treat our brethren as enemies, we refuse to cede our country to anybody who has designs on it. We must enter the new century with our cultural and scientific achievements, which we have added to the heritage of world civilisation, and with democracy and human rights, and strong laws, which are the basis of a modern European State.
Still, we must point out that we Serbs are not the only culprits for everything that has been happening to us during the past few years. While we are trying to put some distance between the current regime and us, the international community treats that regime as a collocutor and as a partner. While human and citizens' rights are violated, the world punishes our people and those who rise in protest against the regime's violence. Crimes against Serbs in Bosnia and Hercegovina and Croatia have not provoked much emotion in the international community nor have they led to sanctions against the perpetrators. The same tragic story is being repeated in Kosovo and the Serbs are always blamed for everything. The Serbian people is being accused because of the anti-democratic nature of the current regime, but they are, in fact, a victim of that regime. It needs to be stated clearly that the undemocratic regime cannot be removed by destroying the State and pushing people into misery and despair, but by giving support to forces which advocate genuine democracy, the rule of law and strengthening of individual freedoms.
The time for changes has come! The time has come for the return of legitimacy, the rule of law and democracy. Karadjordje's Royal House has always stood firmly on those positions. The fate of the Serbian people and of Karadjordje's descendants is linked inseparably. They cannot go forward without each other. Without each other they can only go to ruin! And that is something we never allow to happen since by doing that we would be betraying not only ourselves and the future generations, but also the Salonika heroes we have come to honour here.
Do not despair! The future of the Serbian people depends first of all on us. Let us follow the example of the Salonika heroes and tackle the job of saving the people and the country. So help us God!