Australian Croats With Zeljko Glasnovic MP

Zeljko Glasnovic in Sydney at
“Knights of the Precious Blood” Men’s prayer meeting 27 October 2019

Retired General Zeljko Glasnovic, Independent Member of Croatian Parliament for Croats living abroad and in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has been touring Australia since the 17th of October 2019 and as his tour draws to an end, I asked him about his experiences and observations:

 

Zeljko Glasnovic at Croatian Youth Folklore Festival
Sydney, Croatian Cultural Association/club Bosna, 26 October 2019

Zeljko Glasnovic
Croatian Youth Folklore Festival
Sydney 26 October 2019

 

Zeljko Glasnovic at
Croatian Youth Folklore Festival
Sydney 26 October 2019

You have spent the past 12 days visiting the Australian section of the electorate which you represent in the Croatian Parliament, i.e. Croatians living outside of Croatia and the primary reason for your visit has been to participate in the various festivities of 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Australian Croatian Club O’Connor in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, followed by visits to the Croatian community of Melbourne and Geelong in Victoria and Sydney in New South Wales. What are your impressions of the important matters that Australian Croatians pursue or wish to pursue when it comes to their Croatian Homeland?

The spirit of Croatian unity and patriotism is alive and well in Australia,” said Glasnovic and continued: “Croatians in Australia are innovative, hard-working, and aware of the problems they confront in the Homeland. Socialist bureaucracy, an inefficient legal system and a mindset formed through decades of one-party rule are the main barriers which separate the Croatian diaspora from Croatian institutions and politics. They are aware that the fight for a united Croatian being in the diaspora, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and in Croatia is not being fought only on the political and cultural fronts but also on the metaphysical, spiritual level. To date, Croatia has not utilised the enormous potential of its large diaspora to enhance and contribute to the building of a fully functional state based on the rule of law.

Zeljko Glasnovic
at First Communion Mass
St Anthony’s Croatian Catholic church Summer Hill Sydney

Decades after the Homeland War Croatians outside the country still view state structures as an ideological foe that cannot be trusted. They are well aware that laws which have been passed in other post-communist countries have in Croatia unfortunately been passed in the reverse order. Croatian institutions are still largely staffed by former inefficient communist cadres and their descendants. Having spoken individually to many dozens of Australian Croatians during this visit I can summarise that many members of the diaspora ask questions related to the non-existence of electronic and postal voting, unsolved property issues and associated legislation, and the tiresome process of obtaining citizenship. Corruption is ingrained in all segments of Croatian society just as it was in the former regime; returnees complain that socialist bureaucracy generates this corruption and prevents liaison between the Homeland and its diaspora. It has become apparent that many returnees have become victims of an outdated and inert legal system in which case closure sometimes last for decades. Thousands of people whose private property was forcibly confiscated by the communist regime are still awaiting closure.

Zeljko Glasnovic
Signing Petition for justice for “Croatian Six”
Croatian Club Sydney Punchbowl – 27 October 2019

To add salt to the wounds the recent European Parliament resolution which calls for the condemnation of communist crimes has gone almost totally unnoticed in Croatia. Falsified history and lies spread by the communists still lead the country astray. Propaganda should not be confused with history as real history can be a guide. One of the major stumbling blocks to reconciliation in Croatia is the never truly condemned nor fully processed litany of communist crimes. Until justice is satisfied Croatia will remain divided; it is time we wrote our own history based on forensics, eye-witness accounts and documents.

Zeljko Glasnovic and renowned artist Charles Billich at Billich Gallery, Sydney

I would like to thank the entire Croatian diaspora for their continuing selfless help and sacrifice in rebuilding a Croatian state based on identity, faith and true patriotism. Without their immense contribution Croatia today would not exist. Politics is the art of determining priorities. And one of those priorities must be a complete integration of the Croatian diaspora into the country’s body politic. Also, the future of Croatians of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) must be solved. This is a question of strategic importance for Croatia. Up to now the country’s governing cliques have not afforded enough time or resources to deal with this problem. For example, if we are able to pay tens of thousands of pensions in Serbia we can certainly afford to take care of Croatian veterans that have served with the Croatian Defence Council (HVO).  

The world is in constant transformation. If we do not utilise the immense resources of the Croatian diaspora to meet oncoming challenges history will judge us.”

 

Ina Vukic

 

Australian-Croatian DOMOVINA TV/Cro Media TV interview with Zeljko Glasnovic, October 2019:

 

Comments

  1. Hans Jensen says:

    I am Danish I used to have a very good Croat friend his parents were part of the large Yugoslav Expat community that moved to Western Europe in the 1960s/70s. His family were from Sarajevo. In the summer of 1992 what had happen to Sarajevo by the Serbs angered him so much that he told me he could not watch his town and people being slaughtered, he said he was going to join the Bosnian government army and defend the burning Sarajevo. He was a very religious Catholic but also a normal guy in his early 20s who loved to hang out with beautiful girls, listen to music, watch movies, had future dreams, he got down to Sarajevo on his own without telling his parents and joined the Bosnian government army he apparently I was told later run towards the front without listening to his officers, he told them it was a question of dignity, he died in early August 1992 defending Sarajevo.

    Like

  2. dorothy mcmicking says:

    May I contact Prof. Ina Vukic ? I am researching information on Commandent Michael A Good of the Irish Army who served in Durevar Croatia in Spring 1995.

    Like

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