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<nettime> Let Civility Prevail - A Statement of Concerned Serbian Citizens



As long time proponents of and activists for a democratic and
anti-nationalist Serbia, who have chosen to remain in Yugoslavia during
this moment of crisis and who want to see our country reintegrated into
the community of world nations, we state the following:

1. We strongly condemn the NATO bombings which have hugely exacerbated
violence in Kosovo and have caused the displacement of people outside and
throughout Yugoslavia. We strongly condemn the ethnic cleansing of the
Albanian population perpetrated by any Yugoslav forces. We strongly
condemn the Kosovo Liberation Army's (KLA) violence targeted against the
Serbs, moderate Albanians and other ethnic communities in Kosovo. The
humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo - death, grief and extreme suffering
for hundreds of thousands of Albanians, Serbs and members of other ethnic
communities - has to be ended now. All refugees from Yugoslavia must
immediately and unconditionally be allowed to return to their homes, their
security and human rights guaranteed, and aid for reconstruction provided.
Perpetrators of crimes against humanity whoever they are must be brought
to justice.

2. The fighting between Serbian forces and KLA has to be stopped
immediately in order to start a new round of negotiations. All sides must
put aside their maximalist demands. There are (as in other numerous
similar conflicts such as Northern Ireland) no quick and easy solutions.
We all must be prepared for a long and painstaking process of negotiation
and normalization.

3. The bombing of Yugoslavia by NATO causes destruction and growing
numbers of civilian victims (at least several hundred, maybe a thousand,
by now). The final outcome will be the destruction of the economic and
cultural foundations of Yugoslav society. It must be stopped immediately.

4. The UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, the founding document of NATO,
as well as the constitutions of countries such as Germany, Italy,
Portugal, have been violated by this aggression. As individuals who have
devoted their lives to the defense of basic democratic values, who believe
in universal legal norms we are deeply concerned that NATO's violation of
these norms will incapacitate all those struggling for the rule of law and
human rights in this country and elsewhere in the world.

5. NATO's bombings have further destabilized the southern Balkans. If
continued this conflict can escalate beyond Balkan borders and, if turned
into land military operations, thousands of NATO and Yugoslav soldiers, as
well as Albanian and Serbian civilians, will die in a futile war as in
Vietnam. Political negotiations toward a peaceful settlement should be
reopened immediately.

6. The existing regime has only been reinforced by NATO's attacks in
Yugoslavia by way of the natural reaction of people to rally around the
flag in times of foreign aggression. We continue our opposition to the
present anti-democratic and authoritarian regime, but we also emphatically
oppose NATO's aggression. The democratic forces in Serbia have been
weakened and the democratic reformist Government of Montenegro threatened
by NATO's attacks and by the regime's subsequent proclamation of the state
of war and now find themselves between NATO's hammer and regime's anvil.

7. In dealing with the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia the leaders of
the world community have in the past made numerous fatal errors. New
errors are leading to an aggravation of the conflict and are removing us
from the search for peaceful solutions.

We appeal to all: President Milosevic, the representatives of the Kosovo
Albanians, NATO, EU and US leaders to stop all violence and military
activities immediately and engage in the search for a political solution.

Belgrade, April 16, 1999

1.  Stojan Cerovic, "Vreme" columnist and journalist
2.  Jovan Cirilov, Belgrade International Theater Festival (BITEF)
selector and former director of the Yugoslav Drama Theater; Theater
History Center Director
3.  Sima Cirkovic, Member Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts,
Professor, Belgrade University, Dept. of History
4.  Mijat Damnjanovic, Former Professor, Belgrade University, Faculty
of Political Sciences, Center for Public Administration and Local
Government (PALGO) Director
5.  Vojin Dimitrijevic, Former head of the Department of International
Law, Belgrade Law School; The Belgrade Center for Human Rights
Director; UN Human Rights Committee former Vice Chairman
6.  Dasa Duhacek, Director Women Studies Center, Board Member of
Alternative Academic Educational Network (AAEN)
7.  Milutin Garasanin, Member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and
Arts; Vice President of The Association for Research of South-Eastern
Europe (UNESCO)
8.  Zagorka Golubovic, Professor, Belgrade University, Department of
Sociology; Chair Social Sciences Department of AAEN
9.  Dejan Janca, Professor, Novi Sad University, Law School
10.  Ivan Jankovic, Belgrade lawyer, human rights activist, Board
President of Center for Anti-War Action
11.  Predrag Koraksic, Belgrade caricaturist
12.  Mladen Lazic, Professor, Belgrade University, Department of
Sociology, AAEN Board member
13.  Sonja Licht, President, Fund for an Open Society Executive Board
14.  Ljubomir Madzar, Professor Belgrade University, Faculty of
Economy, Member Group-17
15.  Veran Matic, Editor in Chief, Belgrade Radio B92, President
Alternative Network of Electronic Media (ANEM)
16.  Jelica Minic, Secretary General, European Movement in Serbia
17.  Andrej Mitrovic, Professor, Belgrade University, Department of
18.  Radmila Nakarada, Senior Reserach Fellow, Belgrade Institute for
European Studies
19.  Milan Nikolic, Director, Center for Policy Studies
20.  Vida Ognjenovic, Theater director, playwrite
21.  Borka Pavicevic, Director, Center for Cultural Decontamination
22.  Jelena Santic, Anti-war 487 group, human rights activist
23.  Nikola Tasic, Associate member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences
 and Arts,  Member European Academy
24.  Ljubinka Trgovcevic, Senior Research Fellow, Belgrade University,
Department of History
25.  Srbijanka Turajlic, Professor, Belgrade University, Faculty of
Electrical Engineering, Board President AAEN
26.  Ivan Vejvoda, Fund for an Open Society Executive Director,
27.  Branko Vucicevic, translator

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