As I briefly commented in my last post the Independent Democratic Serb Party/SDSS in Vukovar has issues with Vukovar’s Local Government declaration of Vukovar as a place of special piety for its suffering under brutal Serb aggression in 1991 and declaring the Croatian and Latin script as its official language.
I now turn to some of those “issues” some Serbs of Vukovar have with the Vukovar’s Croats (victims and veterans of Homeland war). On Wednesday 6 November the president of the Independent Democratic Serb Party/SDSS in Vukovar Srdjan Milakovic appeared on TV Vinkovac program “Politics and Truth” and stated that his people would not be joining the procession to honour the victims of Vukovar on the 22nd anniversary of the fall of Vukovar 18 November because, he said, not all victims are honoured in that procession!
As things would appear here Milakovic considers that families, friends, wives, children, mothers, fathers, colleagues … of murdered victims should march side by side with the murderers, suspected murderers, rapists, suspected rapists, plunderers, ethnic cleansers – hand in hand as if nothing had happened!
While, in terms of humanity’s “forgive and forget” slogan, that may be a desirable albeit often far-fetched goal, it is certainly not a realistic one, especially not if in that procession you get to walk side by side with known or identified, but pardoned through political wheeling and dealing war criminals, walking freely, dishing out cynic’s glances.
But Milakovic does not stop there. He drives the sharp dagger further into the still inconsolable pain from the horrors of the war of Serb aggression and says: “the introduction of Cyrillic signage in Vukovar was not done to offend the emotions of Croats, but primarily for the reasons where members of the Serb minority would feel that they are welcome and equal in Vukovar, just as they were before 1991”.
There you go, right from the “horse’s mouth”: Introduction of Cyrillic in Vukovar had/has more to do with forced reconciliation, with shoving war crimes under the rug than with rights of ethnic minorities under the law.
Milakovic says this without a single tiny speck of remorse for mass crimes perpetrated against Vukovar and its Croatian population in 1991! He fits in among the slime and slimy politicians who will say and do anything to equate the innocent victim with a determined and premeditating murderer.
He, himself, stated that conditions for the introduction of Cyrillic do not yet exist and he, nevertheless, vigorously opposes the declaration of Vukovar as a place of special piety (which concept, by the way, honours all victims, regardless of their ethnicity).
And many other Serbs of Vukovar know that, they do not want Cyrillic there yet either.
Things cannot be the same as they were before 1991 in Vukovar just as things cannot be the same for anyone who has lost and suffered so severely from criminal acts against them, against their family. The fact remains that Serb aggression in Vukovar (as everywhere else in Croatia) started in 1991 when majority of Croatian citizens voted to secede from communist Yugoslavia and Croatian Serbs (rebels) started pouncing like mad dogs upon their Croat neighbours in villages and towns, killing, plundering, shifting them in trucks to concentration camps in Serbia … At times on this blog when I write about these issues I appear like a broken record, at times repeating the same things over and over again and I do that with purpose and without apology: battling against evil and the insufferable stench that emanates from political agenda’s of war crimes denial, from denying the victims the right to heal and choose how they will best heal, from brutal forces that attempt equating victim with aggressor – is a battle of perpetual need to stay focused on the truth and keep going back to how it all started, over and over again until the truth sits at its rightful place without being tampered and interfered with.
And no, Srdjan Milakovic, Serbs who participated in the persecution and murder, and rape and ethnic cleansing in Vukovar in 1991 can never enjoy the respect and the tolerance that existed before 1991! They may one day be forgiven, for it is in human nature to forgive and contemplate forgiveness BUT true forgiveness is a two way process: the one to be forgiven must also want to be forgiven, must show humility and remorse and I have yet to see any meaningful gestures of that.
Indeed the Croatian war veterans and the majority of Vukovar’s residents say the city – which was destroyed by Serbs in the 1990s war – cannot be considered like others. Serbian and Cyrillic letters are a reminder of the conflict’s killings and tragedies and therefore the city should be exempted from the law that provides for bilingual signage under national minority legislative rights.
The Cyrillic script to the still-suffering victims of Serb aggression is what the Swastika is to the victims of Nazi extermination. No doubts about that in my mind as symbols and scripts have a powerful effect of association and in this case that association is torturous for the victims. While Swastika is an ancient spiritual symbol of wealth and peace in WWII it became the symbol of war crimes, extermination, torture, hate, evil; the Serbian Cyrillic script certainly is not in itself an evil script but it became to symbolise evil in Vukovar and Croatia during the Serb aggression of 1990’s, for everywhere one turned where war crimes proceeded graffiti in Cyrillic signs installed fear, announced murder, rape, deportation, reveled in the insufferable suffering inflicted upon Croats . Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)