Croatia: No Cyrillic in Vukovar – Thank You!

Vukovar rally 2 February 2013  Photo: Goran Ferbez/Pixsell

Vukovar rally 2 February 2013 Photo: Goran Ferbez/Pixsell

A river of citizens from across Croatia spilled into Vukovar Saturday 2 February (more than 20,000) to protest against the government’s intent to introduce Cyrillic script (Serbian language) along the Latin one (Croatian language) on public places or official signage. Although police presence was significant the event proceeded without incidents.
Organised by the Committee for Defence of Croatian Vukovar, the rally carried its main slogan: Cyrillic Never in Vukovar. Banners with slogans “ We defended Vukovar, not Bykobap”, “We Fell for Vukovar, Politicians Have Betrayed Us”, “Betrayal – Again!”, “Victory in War, Defeat in Peace” …
The Croatian government was asked to listen to the voice of the eastern town’s residents and give up enforcing the constitutional law on national minorities’ rights in Vukovar and introducing bilingualism.

Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic was asked “not to test and provoke” those who defended Vukovar in the 1991-95 war.

Committee chair Tomislav Josic said the committee Friday 1st February filed a motion asking the Constitutional Court to assess the constitutionality of the law on national minorities’ rights, and that it expected the government to give up enforcing it until the court passed its ruling.

In demands read out by Josic, the committee wants the government to see to the arrest and prosecution of war criminals, and parliament to hold a discussion on the enforcement of the constitutional law at issue.

Josic said the committee wanted state institutions to enforce the law on the residence of every resident of Vukovar, and the town council to stop amendments to the town statute that would enable bilingualism in Vukovar.

A proclamation by the Committee for Defence of Croatian Vukovar was also read out, asking the state and legislative authority to “turn the wheel” which “is heading towards the destruction of everything that has been created so far.” The state authorities were accused of the high unemployment and discontent among the people, and urged not to put themselves above the people.

January 2013 was the month, which marked the 15th Anniversary of the Peaceful Reintegration of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium.

During the two transition years (1996 – 1998) foundations for peace were laid as a basis for reconstruction, revival of Vukovar’s post-war community”, said for Hrvatski List Dr. Drazen Zivic from “Ivo Pilar” Institute of Social Sciences in Zagreb.
However, even then we asked ourselves whether a just and non-aggressive peace was established by the Reintegration, or whether the Reintegration established an unjust or aggressive peace,” Dr. Zivic continues in his interview with Marko Curac of Hrvatski List. “Were only the short-term political interests in those foundations of peace, or does that peace rest upon truth, justice, forgiveness, reconciliation, understanding, dialogue, tolerance, mutual and inter-ethnic trust and acknowledgement as long-term or lasting facets of peace?
The latest disquiet and upheaval in Croatia, spurred on by the government’s announcement to introduce Cyrillic script into Vukovar, appear to suggest that the peace achieved through the Peaceful Reintegration of Eastern Slavonia in the late 1990’s may not, indeed, have been as genuine as the world was led to believe.
War wounds are still painfully open, and it would seem that the Peaceful Reintegration of Eastern Slavonia did not consider an effective process of healing those wounds but rather utilised porous bandages, superficial tolerance, pushed for legal rights of all without taking on responsibility in delving into healing the war wounds from within.
After the bloody Serbian aggression, which took at least 2,500 lives in Vukovar area, 800 still missing, deported or ethnically cleansed more than 43,000 Croatians and non-Serbs, and perpetrated a cataclysmic destruction of homes, businesses and infrastructure in the early 1990’s it is humanly clear that wounds and scars still burn with pain and bitter anger in Croatia, in Vukovar.

Surely (!) these circumstance must provide for and urge the Croatian government to reconsider at least the timing for the promulgation of ethnic minority rights to bilingualism “guaranteed” by Constitutional law, particularly given that this law was changed in 2002 and, I hold, in line with the mindset from the 1996-1998 Peaceful Reintegration of Eastern Slavonia. The 2002 law provides for the establishment of bilingualism (or multilingualism) when one or more ethnic minorities make at least a third of the total population in a particular region. Serb ethnic minority fulfilled that criteria in Vukovar in the 2011 census, however, that census is considered questionable given that it according to many consists of a relatively large number of Serbs who have a  registered address there but do not reside in the area. Furthermore, the same Constitutional law stipulates that in the event of applying the minority rights to bilingualism the government must ensure that such an implementation does NOT cause a disturbance in the relationship of the ethnic minority with the national majority (Croatian), that is that the realisation of those rights must not come at the expense of dialogue, understanding, tolerance …
On 22 December 1990, Franjo Tudjman, the first president of the Republic of Croatia, at the proclamation of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia said to the Parliament: “…future generations are going to be the ones who will more objectively judge and give opinion about this Constitution. We can only bear witness to the fact that we have courageously and decisively, with an open heart and free spirit, approached the writing of it, in a milestone and dramatic time”.

Indeed, this was the time when the horrid Serb aggression had not hit and devastated Croatia and in the spirit and intentions found in Franjo Tudjman’s speech when proclaiming the Constitution, now is high time to revisit and review the Constitution as well as the Constitutional law in relation to ethnic minorities, bring them in line with other civilized democracies of Europe and the “West” as Tudjman and the first parliament of independent Croatia intended in 1990. Certainly, the Constitution of Republic of Croatia does NOT provide for the loss of sovereignty of any part of Croatia and the announced introduction of official bilingualism in Vukovar area certainly comes with bitter taste, pain and heightened alertness that Vukovar is in danger of significant ethnic unrest. Given that, one would expect the government to remove its blinkers and assess the intention and the spirit of the total legislation relevant to ethnic minority rights; not charge ahead with bilingualism like a bull against red rag. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. Robert Keane says:

    This is big news – almost everywhere you look online, news portals in US, Canada, UK, across Europe – Keep your momentum Croatia and anyone who criticizes you just ask them: look into your own country where there are ethnic minorities in large numbers in different areas of your country and do you see bilingual signage? No you don’t, so lay off Croatia. In the UK for example or Australia or US there are areas filled with ethnic minorities in high percentages: Indian, Chinese, Lebanese, Arab etc etc Do you see street names and government building names in Indian, Arabic, Chinese … No you don’t. So don’t you dare pointing a finger at Croatia before you give your ethnic minorities the same rights.

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  2. I have a feeling there’s pressure from EU for this – well Croatia, you’re stupid if you bow to this pressure – change your constitution regarding the language of minorities – these rights do not exist in any country of EU and the EU still prides itself it provides for rights of ethnic minorities

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  3. “Introduce a moratorium on the Cyrillic alphabet in Vukovar”
    Association of underage volunteers Croatian Homeland War (UMDDRH) fully supports the committee for the defense of Vukovar, Croatian and requirements HQ …

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  4. Forgive but don't forget says:

    Even decades later, many Croats and Serbs in Vukovar and elsewhere continue to live parallel lives, with children attending separate schools and each ethnic community visiting its own cafes or shops.

    “I don’t want to ever see Cyrillic here, never,” said Mara Jurcic, whose 25-year-old son Pavo was among more than 200 prisoners who were executed and buried in a mass grave at a pig farm near Vucovar.

    “They have done so much evil here,” she said.
    http://www.montereyherald.com/news/ci_22505869/alphabet-dispute-revives-old-injuries-croatia

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  5. Brave New World says:

    Any government that cannot see that its laws needs changing to reflect the circumstances within its nation – people, sovereignty, framework of sovereignty MUST BE OUSTED!

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  6. More than 20,000 Croats rallied in Vukovar to protest against the government’s plan to introduce signs in the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet. The government wants to put bilingual signs in both the Latin script used for Croatian and in Cyrillic later this month in regions with one-third ethnic Serb population. The Serb language is a sensitive issue after the Serb rebellion against Croatia’s independence from Yugoslavia. Vukovar was reduced to rubble during a three-month siege by the Serb-dominated Yugoslav army and local Serb militia in 1991
    IF SERBS DIDN’T DO WHAT THEY DID in 1991 THEN VUKOVAR WOULD NOT HAVE THE PERCENTAGE OF SERBS THERE NOW – THERE WAS NEVER SO MANY SERBS IN VUKOVAR AND THAT IS BECAUSE THEY ETHNICALLY CLEANSED OR MURDERED THE CROATS AND THE CROATIAN GOVERNMENT HAS YIELDED UNDER EU PRESSURE TO HELP SERBS SETTLE AND BUGGER THE RETURN OF CROATS THERE. A SAD, SAD PICTURE FOR CROATIA.

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    • In 1981. there were 34% of Serbs, 34% of Croats, the rest of 32 % were Yugoslavs and other nationalities ( Slovens, Rusins, Hungarian, Chechs, Macedonian, Roms, Germans etc).Signs were written in Latin scripts and there was no need to make any difference betwen two nationalities because nobody was presumed to be the minority. “Divide et impera “was the hidden motto of the war and now we are where we are , divided and intolerant !

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      • Vojko, yes it would seem like that on the surface, but the reality unfortunately is more involved than that. The 1990’s war of Serb aggression proved that division and intolerance existed then – the Serbs considered themselves divided from Croatia and intolerant of having to live in Croatia. Today, the apparent division I believe is all about the victim in Vukovar (Croat) not been given a proper chance to grieve its losses and heal the wounds. And just on the population: In 1971 Vukovar had 48.6% Croats, 32% Serbs and the rest other minorities; in 1990 it had 47.2% Croats and 32.4% Serbs, In the rules of democratic world percentages of ethnicity in any given area of any given country as far as official government matters of signage do not really matter, the official signage is in the language of the country and ethnic minorities are afforded the rights to use language privately, have language classes, hve access to interpreters and translators if they cannot speak that country’s language adequately, brochures on government services are translated into various community languages etc.

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      • Ina, I lived in Vukovar and I knew people there . I know stories and tragedies of my friends left there and of many others forced to leave their homes. Some were killed by bombs, some imprisoned, some disperced to other parts of Croatia…. and I condivide their pain no matter their nationality.

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      • Vojko, thanks, I too support all victims no matter what their nationality and victims need to be heard and acknowledged and supported. I haven’t lived in Vukovar but here in far away Australia I have had the opportunity to meet, assist and even house several of those Croatians who were ethnically cleansed from Vukovar (some had ended up in Begejci concentration camp, Serbia, to then be transferred to Trnopolje and Red Cross got them out etc.) – suffice to say most of them will never have pleasant dreams or normal lives again. The fear of pain in them is something that stops them returning to Vukovar and what’s happening now regarding introducing Cyrillic will further shut the doors for them

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  7. Miso Sorbel says:

    OK, so if I understand this thing right even if the law provides for bilingual signage where ethnic minorities are one third or more of population in a region the same law also says that this should not be implemented if it is causing unrest and problems. So, can’t the Croatian government read? For God’s sake, what’s going on in here? The government playing nasty games with its own people and trying to please EU or whoever! Just awful!

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  8. Edo Pevec says:

    I will definetly second that Vukovar never becomes that other. And no cirilica eather.

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  9. Michael Silovic says:

    The Croatian constitution needs to be changed. when 1/3 of a region becomes Chinese or African do we put signs up in that language as well? What will we do next allow sharia law in communities when 1/3 of the population becomes Muslim? Clearly there is pressure from the EU to go through with this to appease the Serbs. They always claimed vukovar as theirs and this is our governments way of giving them back Vukovar peacefully. The Serbs are not done fighting Croatia for what it wants to steal from us.Our own goverment has become our worst enemy and traitors to our homeland heroes.When we enter the EU Croatia will get it”s share of 3rd world immigrants dumped on us by the EU and we will loose our identity and heritage in a matter of years. Our goverment does not want to welcome back the Croatian diaspora with open arms because they know that many would protest the destruction of our country. I am a fascist and make no apology for this and do not welcome anyone or any national language into Croatian society if they do not want to live under Croatian standards, language and customs. I am very angry that our goverment does not put CROATIA FIRST. I do not know how many times I must scream to put Croatia First. The cost of entering into the EU is a very high price.Loosing ones ethnicity and heritage is very bad for any country and only would this stupid goverment allow this. We Croats must be prepared to defend our homeland again before it is to late. We must find leadership who will put the people and country first and fore most above anyone or anything else before we have a civil war and this is no joke it will only be a matter of time before the people of Croatia takes control of our goverment by force. yes this can happen in a democracy…. Za Dom Spremni!

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    • Martin Sostar says:

      Well said Michael Silovic! Ethnic minorities should be respected and have the right to practice their culture and religion etc but when it comes to the country they live in then they need to respect that country as well. If they don’t, which seems the case with Croatian Serbs, then you get all sorts of unrest. It’s a shame that Croatia doesn’t seem to have a government that sees this.

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    • You Catholics sold out your orthodox cousins centuries ago. Stop fighting over stupid little things. Don’t like Serbs? Try another Turkish invasion. Or just be stupid like the Dutch and French and let Arabs move in and take over your universities, cafes and suburbs. Should have been a greater Serbia-Macedonia-Croatia a long time ago. Croatians are lovely people who were saved from annihilation by there Serbian cousins. Lets stop selling each other out as Christians and Europeans by engaging in senseless infighting. Put up proper security on Europe’s south coast.

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  10. Leaving aside the war and its recriminations, leaving aside the provocations of chetnick hat wearing groups roaming around Vukovar during the orthodox christmas last month, leaving aside the reality that Vukovar is a deeply divided city on a par with Baghdad, even leaving aside the street signs in ગુજરાતી (Gujarati) in the Brick Lane area of London (which is merely a tourism gimmick)….. leaving aside all of that, why the hell should a Croatian town, in Croatia, frig around with road signs and goodness knows what else in foreign lettering?
    I don’t have a nationalistic bone in my body, I’m a liberal ‘wet’ if ever there was one but this is too much, even for me.

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  11. One country, one language. Simple.

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    • What about bilingual Crotatian/Italian signs in Istra?

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      • Istria and it’s bilingualism has an entirely different history: after WWI – the dissolution of Austro-Hungarian Empire it was given to Italy as there were many cases of Italian or Italian language majority; after WWII it was included into Yugoslavia (except small pocket near Trieste); the 1990’s war saw a division of Istria between Croatia and Slovenia – actually some border disputes still continue on the issue… Hence, you are looking at an entirely different picture than that of Vukovar. Vukovar area never had majority Serb nor did it ever belong to Serbia. One would assume that no decent human being would deny the Croatians of Vukovar area the right to grieve their losses from horrid Serb aggression, the opportunity to repopulate the area after they had been ethnically cleansed by Serbs, the right to investigate census figures as far as ethnic minority population is concerned etc.

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  12. Mario Budak says:

    When you have people in charge of Croatian government, who did not wish to have an indipendent Croatia, how can you expect that government to act in the best interest of that state and its people? We need the new government, made up of people who spiled their blood for that country, only those individuals are filled with love for Croatia and only they should lead Croatia, regardless what religious denomination they belong too. All career politicians from the old one party system, should be banned from ever holding a political position in Croatia.

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  13. Alis Jacob says:

    yes…one country one language absolutely…..yes, never cyrillic in Croatia …. especially not Vukovar …. not now not ever !

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  14. Read in newspaper online that Serbs in Vukovar will not give up their minority right to their Cyrillic! What else can one expect from a people who for centuries have not accepted Croatia as the country they live in. It’s apparent they don’t want Croatia. Maybe, since they don’t want this and are not going to live in Serbia, they should be shipped to another country in EU or overseas for a year or so to learn the lesson of how these other countries expect respect and decency.

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  15. Mary Ellen says:

    Having Cyrillic script on public places will be a cruel reminder of the Serb aggression and killings and ethnic cleansing of Vukovar area – surely even the hardest government must know this. It’s inhuman to inflict such pain on Croatian people there.

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  16. Francis A. says:

    Croatia is trying to make up for their abysmal human rights/minority rights history with these wide-sweeping, exaggerated reforms that are not necessary. I, too, agree that a separate script (in the same language) need not be written everywhere around the city. It is not a responsibility of a majority to provide such rights, especially when the language is the same and can be understood by the minority.

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    • Sesilia J says:

      What mush you speak of Francis A! Can you please give an example of your mentioned “abysmal human rights” Croatia has shown. If you read the Constitution of Croatia you will see that minority rights are included. If you’re thinking of say return of Serbs who fled Croatia as being poor record – well, how about Serbs paying for their own return or at least paying for damage they’ve caused in Croatia before fleeing – then all will be fair. Back in 1990 when Croatian Constitution was proclaimed it clearly stipulated ethnic minority rights to be in line with EU and Western democracies. Then Serb aggression occurred and much blood spilled. When you talk of human rights PLEASE don’t exclude the human rights Croatians have, as well as Serbs, Hungarians, Roma …

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      • Francis A. says:

        Minority rights. I was referring to WWII, when the Croatian government tried to exterminate their minorities.

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      • Ah you mean Croats only tried but Serbs succeeded. And never forget Serbs were the aggressors in the 1990’s and that places those they attacked in a defensive category, which is an entirely different kettle of fish: everyone has an absolute right to defend their life and no one has the right to attack.

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  17. Rock Morle says:

    Certainly the circumstances ARE NOT ordinary for this. The government, when calculating percentages of different ethnicity there, should, MUST, consider WHAT WOULD THEY BE HAD THE SERBS NOT ETHNICALLY CLEANSED NON_SERBS, CROATS FROM THAT AREA. Full stop!

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    • Agree with you Rock Morle! Besides it’s not as if Serbs living in Vukovar can’t read the Latin script and the Serb and Croatian languages are very similar in vocabulary anyway. Insistence on Cyrillic only speaks volumes of Serb’s denial of atrocities they caused; the world would be much better off if they were a bit more humble.

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    • Francis A. says:

      Serbs were ethnically cleansed as well by Croats in Croatia. The population of Serbs in Croatia has gone from 22 % before WWII, 12 % before 1990, and now it is 4 %.

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      • Francis A. You seem to live in a bubble that rejects the truth. Croats did not ethnically cleanse the Serbs from Croatia. Check out the ICTY Appeal Chamber judgement from 16 November 2012 on Generals Gotovina and Markac cases. Yes the Serbs and friends tried to make it so but did not succeed because evidence was not there. The truth is that Serbs fled voluntarily or were ordered to evacuate by Belgrade & Milosevic when it was clear that they were losing the war. There is evidence of that but hey, the world is helpless when there are people who just do not accept the truth no matter what, so you are free to believe what you want and I will stick to what I know to be true.

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      • The ICTY Appeal chamber ruled on the individual criminal responsibility of Gotovina and Markac, not on Operation Storm as a whole. The court (upon appeal) found that Gotovina and Markac were not INDIVIDUALLY responsible for the crimes committed during Operation Storm. To date, 2,380 people have been convicted in local (Croatian) courts due to their actions during Operation Storm.

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      • Francis A you are very wrong in this regarding Gotovina and Markac and the ICTY judgment. It would be good if you actually read the whole case for you would see that they were convicted by ICTY Trial Chamber along with Croatian leadership for partcipating in “joint criminal enterprise” – meaning that that Chamber said that Operation Storm was not to liberated occupied region of Croatia but to force Serbs out and the Chamber said that this was done by unlawful artillery shelling. The ICTY Appeal Chamber overturned that decision and acquitted the Generals of any guilt – indeed it confirmed that there WAS NO joint criminal enterprise to force Serbs out. Here’s a quote from ICTY statement on 16 November 2012: ” The Appeals Chamber unanimously found that the Trial Chamber erred in concluding that all artillery impact sites located more than 200 metres from a target deemed legitimate served as evidence of unlawful attacks against towns in the Krajina region of Croatia. A majority of the Appeals Chamber further concluded that the Trial Chamber erred in finding that artillery attacks ordered by Mr. Gotovina and Mr. Markač were unlawful. The majority also held that the Trial Chamber erred in finding the existence of a joint criminal enterprise whose purpose was the permanent and forcible removal of Serb civilians from the Krajina region. Accordingly, the majority reversed all of Mr. Gotovina’s and Mr. Markač’s convictions. The majority also declined to enter convictions against Mr. Gotovina and Mr. Markač on the basis of alternate modes of liability. The Appeals Chamber ordered the immediate release of Mr. Gotovina and Mr. Markač”.

        I am not convinced that the 2,800 convicted in Croatia have all been associated with Operation Storm as you provide no details. Be that as it may I’m sure just as many are being or have been convicted for similar things in Serbia – Serbs committing crimes in Croatia during the war. I am all for individuals to answer for and be convicted of crimes if they have committed them. However “joint criminal enterprise” relates to conspiracy to cause harm and acting in unison to harm; that is what Serbs did with help of Serbia, both in Croatia and in B i H. It was Serb political and military goal to ethnically cleanse of Croats and non-Serbs parts of Croatia and parts of Bosnia and that is what they did by the time Operation Storm started. In Croatia Operation Storm liberated Krajina which the Serbs tried to steal and create their own “state” just as they did in Bosnia, but unfortunately the Dayton agreement for Bosnia saw to it that Republika Srpska remain a political entity etc (founded on war crimes).

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      • Remind me how many Serbs FROM SERBIA have been convicted for crimes in Croatia. To my knowledge, it is 2.

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      • Yes more likely only 3 persons have been prosecuted in Serbia for war crimes in Croatia and B i H and these were of “higher rank” in their Army. Serbia has not been processing war suspected criminals out of political reasons but I do believe that 2013 is the year when greater number will be processed – Serbia has this knack of getting away with murder but never mind, the former YPA personnel etc will be processed unless Serbia comes up with some sort of amnesty to look good om paper. Such politics fool no one.

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  18. My Homeland says:

    So, dear Croatian Government – I suppose you need to also have an “official” sign when entering Vukovar by road or rail – you know :Welcome to Vukovar. So, I propose you write on that board something that truly describes Vukovar. The best example are the lyrics Serbs sang in Vukovar 1991 “Slobo, Slobo, send us some salad, there will be meat, we will slaughter the Croats!” Make sure, dear Croatian government you write this in 3 scripts: Croatian, Cyrillic and English/or French/or German depending on which EU official language you choose.

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  19. Shame Operation Storm did not happen for Eastern Slavonia too. That Peaceful Reintegration is the same bullcrap as Dayton agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Everyone must pussyfoot around, walk on eggshells so as not to offend the murderers and aggressor – Serbs. Will someone please see sense and stop this coverup of crimes.

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  20. Richard Moran says:

    Hey Croatia! Fill your trains and buses with Croatians who were ethnically cleansed from Vukovar by Serbs and you will change the percentages of ethnic minority there quick smart!

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  21. Yes, Serbs might have rights, but so do Croatians! Hence, the best and the most humanly viable solution is let the recent history of 1990’s decide which ethnic group has the absolute right to claim sovereignty! Don’t need to go too far to know Croats are winners

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  22. Ramon Ost says:

    Seems Vukovar is like Marseille in France – on the brink of unrest, even if harmony of coexistence might float around the surface, amidst ethnic minorities forming large percentages – I bet you will never see France introduce official signage in say an African language.

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  23. Spectator says:

    Human rights for Croatians – PLEASE!

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  24. Tomislav Marinic says:

    If there is no desire to abide by the Constitutional Law on the Rights of National Minorities, then the law should be changed, President Ivo Josipovic said on Sunday commenting on protests against the introduction of the Serb Cyrillic alphabet in official use in Vukovar. Bravo Bravo! That is the true spirit of Constitutional law to change or adapt it to circumstances. No part of Croatia should jeopardize full Croatian sovereignty.

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    • Michael Silovic says:

      (quote) President Ivo Josipovic said on Sunday commenting on protests against the introduction of the Serb Cyrillic alphabet in official use in Vukovar. Bravo Bravo! That is the true spirit of Constitutional law to change or adapt it to circumstances. No part of Croatia should jeopardize full Croatian sovereignty.

      President Josipovic is a wolf in sheep skin. He will say anything to appease the people but what he does is different. If he was a true leader for the Croatian people he should have been the first person along with Vesna Pusnic to say this will not happen and we will change our constitution.What we are witnessing here is the beginning of another cleansing of Croats from Vukovar in a slow and painful manner. I warn our government to not follow through with this and to change the constitution immediately before we have major unrest In Vukovar.An emergency meeting of parliament needs to be called to do this quickly.If civil disruption begins in Vukovar you can bet it will reach all the way to Zagreb. The Croatian people are not sheep’s that will be led into silence but we are strong Bulls waiting to charge for our freedom if need be. Our government must understand that our blood is not cheap and we must put Croatia First…… Za Dom spremni!

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      • I agree with you Michael, an emergency meeting is required and affirmative action in changing the Constitutional law. When that law was brought down under the presidency of Stjepan Mesic and his cronies in parliament it was the time of doing everything and anything to “satisfy” the EU – against the interests of Croatian people and Croatian sovereignty. Why should Croatia do what no other EU country (or wider) are expected to do. Why the double standards! Yes, I agree with Josipovic that the Constitutional law needs changing but he should put his money where his mouth is and get the wheels of change going quick smart!

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  25. Petar Seve says:

    Tomislav Marinic – The vice-president of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), Milorad Pupovac, said on Sunday that the Constitutional Law on the Rights of National Minorities in Croatia could not be changed because it was one of the country’s international commitments.
    But of course that Pupovac would say that wouldn’t he? Internal peace and sovereignty of Croatia are the most important for Croatia and the international community can take it or leave it – who cares. Pupovac can go and live in Serbia and while he is at it he could perhaps see to it that his brother who was active in Serb paramilitary terror over Croats gets some justice in criminal courts.

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  26. Vukovar or Eu?I choose Vukovar!!!No more bowing to EU.Or anyone else for that matter.Enough of that.

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  27. Michael Silovic says:

    Ina , Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic has a said that the government won’t change its decision, “not only because of the rule of law, but because Croatia is a just country”. As a just country the Prime Minister should not become a traitor to our people and bow to our demands.Not to Serbia and not to the EU.We the people are Croatia not the prime Minister! If we don’t want to respect the law, we have to change it,” Josipovic said.So who is really leading our country between these two idiots ? If they go through with this the both of them will have blood on there hands. “Prime minister, don’t provoke the defenders of Vukovar,” warned protest organiser Tomislav Josic at the rally. We Croats world wide will all stand in solidarity with our homeland defenders before we will for our goverment. No goverment can ask the people to spill their blood in defense of our homeland and then give an inch to anyone including the SERBS and EU . If they do they are traitors and should be tried as criminals. My heart and my blood I will commit to Croatia and it’s freedom !
    Za Dom Spremni!

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    • Yes Michael – I think that it’s not that people don’t want to respect the law, to my view and the view of many: it is impossible to respect such a law in Croatia and, therefore, it must be changed.

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      • Michael Silovic says:

        I agree with you Ina as Croats are patriotic and love our homeland and I am sure none of the citizens were informed of this issue when the constitution was written or we would not have approved of it and the entry to the EU. This law was kept very quiet and many are now learning of it. It also makes me wonder what else we have to give up next. After Tudjeman there seemed to be a lot of betrayal going on towards our people. The concept of Croatia First went out the window it seems and the goverment is doing more harm then good for the people. I am upset that I read that England wants to hire Croats to do their farming because there exports in farming is very large and yet we import 10 billion dollars of of farming products and no aid to our farmers. we are exporting our people out of our country for them to survive while others are taking over our country.

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  28. Steady on people, we’re not going war over this. It’s a pain indeed, it’s irritating yes, but all this “rise up” rhetoric will only serve to demonstrate our primitive nature. Those days are gone (I hope) and nobody is going to burn any buses over this. Westerners rolling their eyes whilst muttering “the Balkans again” is not what we want.

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    • Pavao, you can bet your bottom dollar if something like this was happening in the West, the Westeners would react the same, if not louder, to it. These “conditions”were imposed” upon Croatia by the same Westeners – who, by the way, wouldn’t dream of having public signs in minority language. They provide for the rights by: supporting ethnic press, translating government services etc brochures into ethnic languages, giving access to free phone interpreters etc. But no public signage in language of ethnic minorities. So, really, it does not nor should it matter whether anyone rolls their eyes or not – hope thyey will understand by imagining their own country in this predicament

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  29. Michael Silovic says:

    Call it primitive or whatever you like. This constitutional law must be changed and quickly. I give nothing nor allow anything to Serbs in my country.You may think that this is nothing to go to war over and you are greatly mistaken. War can and does happen over things like this and this is not a small thing to bargain over. This has an impact that effects more then Vukovar. if we allow this to go on that leaves open an interpretation that everything in Croatia must be Cyrillic. you can not allow it in one place in the country and not anywhere else.Further I think you fail to understand the amount of blood spilled on the streets of Vukovar in the name of freedom and separation.It is ignorance such as yours that will cause a conflict if the goverment does not change this. You also fail to understand culture implosion. It’s like the USA has with Hispanics who are now a majority in the country in such a short period of time. Croatia being as small of a country as it is will be forced to take in refugees from 3rd world countries as has Germany and France as an example and you can see the turmoil it is creating in those countries with their citizens and they do not even allow for different languages . France is even banning Muslims from wearing veils. With a population of under 4 million Croatia can lose it’s identity in less then 20 years if this law stands. Once we get into the EU you can bet the refugees will be arriving as fast as they can. Border smuggling is happening everyday and I am damn going to make sure we do not have to have Chinese or African languages in our country. you can to take this a step even further in your comment. Do not think for one second that Croatians will allow their goverment to piss on them in the name of the EU and freedom. We are much smarter then that and our goverment need to wake up real soon.They may think that Croats are weak at home but we are not weak abroad and support our loved ones at home at all costs. Croatia has a lot of nationalists and fascists in our society world wide which I am grateful for and unapologetic. We will fight for our motherland and our freedoms again if we need to and no one including our own goverment should think anything otherwise. We will stand in solidarity with our homeland defenders against our goverment if they do not bow to the people of our country.Our goverment owes nothing to the EU or anyone else. It owes everything to the people and they should never forget this.If we change the law their is nothing the EU can or will do as they need us more then we need them….Za Dom Spremni!

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    • We clearly have disparate views about Croatia and that’s fine but don’t tell me “I think you fail to understand the amount of blood spilled on the streets of Vukovar”, that is an insult and unwarranted. You carry on with your flag waving and para-military fascism from a distance if you wish, but you are not representative of the vast majority of people who walk the streets of Croatia. There is no appetite to expel anyone, reclaim anything or start fighting anyone. We are trying to come of age and that means tolerance, democracy and the rule of law – even those you may disagree with.
      If I am alone here in this view and unwelcome then please let me know and I’ll leave you all alone to rant in your mutual agreement. – and in splendid isolation.

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      • Just to “bud” in Pavao – I do not think anyone disagrees with tolerance, democracy and the rule of law but these are made by men and these are adjusted in every democracy to suit and respect the circumstances in community that affect it directly. Judging by a great deal of media coverage I would say that many people walking the streets in Croatia do not want Cyrillic in Vukovar area at this time. And to my opinion they need to be respected for as victims they must be afforded the human decency to heal in order to move forward. This decency, to my view, has not been considered by those who push for the Cyrillic. The fact is that there are towns and villages in Croatia where Cyrillic or Hungarian signs have been erected and this does not pose a problem, but Vukovar is not ready for it from human rights perspective because Croatian as well as the Serbs have human rights. And the law can be changed, there is no law that says it can’t be, but Croatian government seems to be stuck on this and don’t budge. Shame.

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  30. Michael Silovic says:

    (quote) You carry on with your flag waving and para-military fascism from a distance if you wish, but you are not representative of the vast majority of people who walk the streets of Croatia.

    Pavo I do apologize but it was not my intent to disparage you in anyway and no one said that you are not welcome here. Just like you we all have our views and opinions. I do believe that I represent a great majority of Croatians not only in our beloved country but through out the world who feel the same way I do with the same dedication and conviction of our feelings towards our homeland and our people. I make no apology for my militant or fascist stand as this is my right to do so and my history dictates that I be so. Through out our history everyone had been against our freedom and many people including my ancestors and my parents lost their identity of who they were because of others. To this day I have no idea what field my grandfather lays in after he was taken from his home in Slavonia and murdered and that led my mother to be held as a prisoner of war, brutally raped as a child and to be come stateless in order to survive. . Not to mention how long she was held in a camp before she was allowed to live in Austria after she was given her papers in Camp Funkaserne. Not to mention what happened during the homeland war to my mothers sister and her children that I just came in contact with who lives in Germany because of the war. My mother on her death bed sang the Croatian National Anthem in her weak voice as she left me. My mother is Croatia as many others before her who have suffered the perils of war. yes I am a Militant and yes I am a fascist but no one will ever change my beliefs or feelings for my motherland. I stand before god with my brethren in defense of our people always be it against those who chose to do us harm and that includes our goverment.

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  31. Alis Jacob says:

    when a minority cannot accept the human rights violations perpetrated on their own country then it’s a time they need to find themselves where their needs are better served … in this case their need to maintain their ‘cyrillic’, so it would be absurd not to allow them to cross the border and feel the welcome in cyrillic…in Serbia. No apologies necessary.

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  32. Understood Michael, I accept that history such as you describe cannot be easily put aside. My wife’s grandfather was also “disappeared” from Bogojevo (now Srbija) in 1945 along with all the family’s possessions. Croatia is full of such cases. I also accept your fascism without problem as a bona-fida political standpoint and admire your openness in these days of ‘PC’ mania. We are representative here from different ends of the political spectrum, that will make discussion lively to say the least.

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  33. Francis A. says:

    Unlike Germany, Croatia has not dealt with its’ Nazi past, at least in terms of the people. I think the government of Croatia has made strides, but the people have not.

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    • Francis A. says:

      This is 70 years since and still no progress. I do not see a change of heart coming if it has not come for 70 years. Shame.

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      • Perhaps but there is the reality that not in 70 years, but hundreds of years of living in Croatia the Serbs still do not consider Croatia their home and now they disregard the fact that they tried to steal Vukovar through aggression, ethnic cleansing and mass murders of the 1990’s.

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    • I suggest to do a bit of research on this: court cases since WWII dealing with Holocaust crimes (the latest was in 1980’s in Zagreb), books etc. You simply cannot make sweeping statements accusing the people because there were individuals associated with the crimes and they have been dealt with one way or another. Governments represent all the people and all the people are not involved.

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  34. Respect the country you’ve chosen as your home, respect the CROATIAN language, or kindly cross the border back into Serbia and fuck off forever. That’s my stance on it and it will never, ever change in favour of this “tolerance” bullshit. Read Cyrillic in your own homes, attend language classes, community groups, etc. It’s not that hard to implement these measures and be respectful to the culture and history of Croatia and I’m sure that in turn, you’ll see your culture and language respected too.

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  35. You continue to censor my inclusion of numbers. According to the ICTY, 5,000 Croatian civilians were killed in the war in Croatia (4,978). Facts are facts, and the numbers don’t lie.

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    • I continue to censor your WWII figures because there are no dependable and verifiable facts published. Numbers from WWII vary, depending on who published them between 60,000 to several hundred thousand and I am not the one to call facts the figures that someone has not verified or has pulled out of their sleeve. The fact that even one was killed is too many. As for your civilian figures killed in Croatia in last was they are wrong, because they do not include the civilians that were not yet exhumed from mass graves in the Serb occupied areas (so far since the ICTY figures were written there has been 2, 468 civilian bodies exhumed from mass graves and there are still thousands missing).

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  36. Ian Gardner says:

    WELCOME! to the blog Mo-Ments or Idle Thoughts, Ina, may what you see there at least interest you.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] the war and the future covers recent protests in the country over government plans to introduce Cyrillic (Serbian) script alongside the current […]

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  2. […] And now many are surprised why many Croatians are protesting against the introduction of Cyrillic in…. Indeed, many outside of Croatia will say that the protests signify intolerance of Serb minority in Croatia; denial of human rights Serbs have… WRONG! Croatians have rights also and their rights as victims are a priority. There is no country in the civilized world where a government would allow the language of a murderous and raping aggressor to be used on official signage in the places where still-suffering victims walk.  Only the misguided and the rotten, the morally corrupt would allow such deepening and such prolongation of torture of victims. […]

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  3. […] About dr. Slobodan Lang. Born to Jewish family 8 October 1945 in Zagreb, Croatia. Physician, author, writer, politician and former personal adviser to the first Croatian President dr. Franjo Tudjman. His paternal grandfather Ignjat was the president of the Jewish community in Vinkovci (Croatia) and his grandmother Terezija was a housewife. In 1941 Catholic priest Hijacint Bošković, distinguished Dubrovnik and Croatian Dominican, was engaged in an extraordinary attempt to rescue the Langs from Nazi persecution. Bošković traveled from Dubrovnik to Vinkovci with a special permit that allowed him to relocate the Langs to Dubrovnik. Langs grandfather refused to leave, saying that he “was the president of Jews in peace and he will stay one in the war”. Both of his grandparents were killed in the concentration camp during the Holocaust. He graduated at the University of Zagreb School of Medicine and is a specialist in social medicine. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slobodan_Lang) ____________________________________ Related post: No Cyrillic in Vukovar – Thank you! […]

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  4. […] Serbs in Vukovar as propagated by the government to be adequate in order to apply the law regarding bilingualism in the area. In relation to the Generals’ meeting it’s been stated that there are some 20 – […]

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  5. […] It was February of this year when the Committee for Defence of Croatian Vukovar (the symbol of suffering, mass murders, ethnic cleansing … perpetrated by Serb aggressor against Croatia from 1991) stated at a 20,000 people public rally in Vukovar against the introduction of signs on public buildings in the Croatian and Cyrillic script that it has “filed a motion asking the Constitutional Court to assess the constitutionality of the law on national minorities’ rights, that it wants the government to see to the arrest and prosecution of war criminals, and parliament to hold a discussion on the enforcement of the constitutional law at issue, that it wanted state institutions to enforce the law on the residence of every resident of Vukovar, and the town council to stop amendments to the town statute that would enable bilingualism in Vukovar”. It was April of this year when another colossal in numbers (some 60,000 people) public rally occurred in Zagreb against the introduction of Cyrillic script on signs at public buildings and places. The Headquarters for the Defence of Vukovar sought at the rally that the authorised institutions of the government declare the city of Vukovar an area of special piety for all citizens in the country and the world and that in light of that Cyrillic (Serbian) should not appear alongside Latin (Croatian) script in public places. “If, within three months, you do not commence upon this request, you will, in that way, let us know that you do not respect our sacrifice…if, then, you come to Vukovar on the 18th of November, we will show you that you are not welcome there…”, said at that rally Tomislav Josic, president of Committee for the Defence of Vukovar. […]

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