Archive for October, 2006

We, the Serbs and others, in order to…

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Serbia is about to get a new constitution. This entire weekend, we will be able to vote in an referendum on whether to approve something that entire parliament passed.

Personally, I am not sure whether to boycott or to vote no.

I would boycott it because there was no public input in writing of this constitution, to call media coverage of opinions biased would be an understatement of the year, and the document is full of “Kosovo is Serbia” statements (e.g. preamble, or president’s oath).

On the other hand, I would vote no because minority rights are not adequately protected and because democracy is not institutionalized. The latter is primary in my opinion, really: we will still not vote for people, but for lists of people for the parliament and institutions are not adequately defined and separated. I simply don’t see how my vote will ever count nor how I will get any sort of representation in this country. There is no individual person representing me, nor my vote.

Finally, there is a good thing or two about this document. It will allow for positive discrimination and protects my right not to serve army under arms (even in war, if I read this correctly), which is probably the first step to abolishing conscription. It’s nowhere as good as pledging not to have army any more, of course.
But overall, lack of governmental representation, transparency and responsibility, as well as the fact that it all smells of project “Great Serbia” are all enough for me to be against proposed constitution.

P.S. I deliberately did not quote any parts of the document, because it is simply badly written in its concept, full of dubious compromises (political ones, regarding current affairs) and not worthy detailed discussion. Use Google to find the full text if you haven’t read it yet.

P.P.S. Whether it passes or not, I don’t care, because one thing we learned in last 15 years is that nobody gives a flying fuck about law in this country, especially the ones which don’t carry any punishment (like the Constitution).

October 25, 2006 at 3:08 pm 1 comment

I ♥ MO

Although I haven’t seen them all, I can safely say that Mostar is the town with most “something so wonderful, but I can’t quite explain what it is” in the world. During 1990s, this city suffered a lot and is now a monument to the everlasting human stupidity.

This is what happened:

Mostar is divided into two parts by the River Neretva. For centuries, people were fine with this, and furthermore, they built bridges to be able to cross the river. Citizens of Mostar, doing idiotic things like all Balkanites do, also realized they are able to fall off a 5 centuries old bridge and survive a 25 meter jump into an ice cold, rapid, shallow, river. They decided to make it a local sport, and they started competing. The legend says, one guy jumped off the bridge, kept falling for 300 meters before hitting the water stayed under surface until dinner time. He said he went out of the water just because it was January and he wanted to go skiing.

The horror of this sport had to stop, of course, so somebody wisely decided to destroy the bridge in 1993, during a battle which proved that strategically most important places in Mostar are a public pool and a cheese market.

A new bridge has been built. Music academy and a high school’s facade are still waiting for better days. Still, I will give you this piece of wisdom:

“Volim Mostar – Makar ‘vaki”
“I love Mostar – Even if it’s like this”

October 16, 2006 at 9:10 pm 6 comments

Thursday

An old chap from Gornji Milanovac, the kind of guy that can tell you dozens of “during the war” stories, made his little pilgrimage on Wednesday towards the highest peak of the Rudnik mountain. Carrying a scythe, he passed on several ride offers, but still had strength to mow the lawn at the place where 63 years ago the First Šumadian Brigade was formed.

On Thursday, October 5th of each year, people from around Šumadija gather around that place to commemorate the event. In 1943, two years into the war, a group of (mostly) students from Belgrade and other cities came together to form the first Partisan, anti-fascist, forces in central Serbia. Most of them never slept in the woods before, let alone tried to survive for longer time, and the brigade never made it through the winter.

I will probably be the only blogger to write about this today. Most others, if they make an effort, will discuss if October 5th, the day when Milošević was ousted, is a positive or a negative thing, if nothing changed or if it is better today.

I can only say that since 5/10/2000, there haven’t been any wars around here.

October 5, 2006 at 12:01 am 1 comment


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