"Traitors should not transfer responsibility"

Boris Tadić's request for barricades in northern Kosovo to be removed is no surprise, but it is disappointing, says a local Serb leader.

Source: Beta

Zubin Potok Mayor Slaviša Ristić spoke on Wednesday to say that Serbs in the north of the province "expected Tadić to call on them to remove the barricades" - after EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton recently called on Tadić to "show leadership" and issue such a demand.

"However, we're surprised that for four months now he sang another tune, fooling the people," the mayor said, addressing a session of the nearby Zvečan municipality.

He also noted that mayors of the four Serb municipalities north of the Ibar River must be careful and avoid the trap of being held responsible for the demise of the Serb people.

"We must not keep quiet, we must ask representatives of the citizens what we should do. I think everyone should be held responsible for their actions. Those who betrayed the country should be held responsible for treason, and this responsibility cannot be transfered to someone else," said Ristić.

The request for the local Serbs to remove the barricades represents "unfair treatment of his own people by the president", Ristić stated, and added that "until yesterday, Tadić said in all meetings with the heads of northern municipalities, and in all official statements, that the barricades were a legitimate means (of protest)".

The Serbs who form a majority in the north of the province are blocking roads in order to prevent international missions from transporting Kosovo Albanian customs and police workers to the administrative line checkpoints of Jarinje and Brnjak. The Serbs reject the authority of the government in Priština, as well as the unilateral declaration of independence made by ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in February 2008.

Now Mayor Ristić wondered "what the purpose of Tadić's message was" - to remove the barricades, to repeat something that the West wants, or if there was "something much more dangerous behind it all, and that is to blame the possible demise of the Serb people and these areas on the people and municipal presidents - on us, who have been fighting for 12 years".

He believes that an attempt is being made to blame the citizens for "betrayal and perhaps tragedy" of the Serb people in Kosovo, and said that "the second part of Tadić's statement spoke about that".

Ristić also asked which plan - that the Serbs had allegedly rejected - Tadić referred to in his message on Tuesday:

"Has any plan been offered to Serbs, except to accept an independent Kosovo and its institutions? If he had the Ahtrisaari plan in mind, that was rejected by everyone verbally, including President Tadić."

The mayor concluded by saying that he and his colleagues had no right to tell the people that they had no right to fight for their lives, their homes, families, the state of Serbia, and that they should instead retreat and accept an alien state. He also called on the citizens to show restraint, unity and remain calm in the face of any violence coming from the NATO troops, KFOR.

Also on Wednesday, President of the Kosovska Mitrovica Municipality Krstimir Pantić said on Wednesday that the municipal assemblies in the north of Kosovo will very soon consider the call of the president of Serbia for the removal of roadblocks.

Pantić said in a statement for Tanjug that Tadić's message was confusing and he that he feared that it was the result of pressure that came from Brussels.

"I think the president in this way gave up on preserving the territorial integrity of the country, of which he no longer speaks but only about the survival of Serbs in Kosovo," said Pantić.


"SNS stands with Serbs in Kosovo"

Serbian Progressive Party leader Tomislav Nikolić has asked President Boris Tadić to explain to the citizens what made him change his stance on the barricades.

Politics Wednesday, November 30, 2011 15:28 Comments: 7
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