Anniversary of death of Slobodan Milošević marked
Cabinet minister and leader of the Movement of Socialists Aleksandar Vulin was in Požarevac on Tuesday, where he visited the grave of Slobodan Milošević.Source: Tanjug
Vulin paid his respects to the former Yugoslav and Serbian president, and founder and lifelong leader of the Socialist Party (SPS), who eight years ago died during his trial at the Hague Tribunal.
Vulin was heading a delegation of his party in Požarevac today, and told reporters that he was there to honor Milošević, the first democratically elected president in the history of Serbia.
He added that Milošević was at Serbia's helm in difficult times - "when its survival was brought into question."
"Milošević knew how to make mistakes when choosing his friends, and not all his friends were his friends, or the friends of Serbia, but the enemies knew how to choose him without fail," Vulin was quoted as saying.
He stressed that "all Milošević's enemies were the true enemies of Serbia above all, and then of him as well."
Numerous citizens gathered today in the yard of Milošević's family home in Požarevac, where he was buried.
Among them was former minister, and SPS official Milutin Mrkonjić, who laid flowers at the grave.
Asked why SPS leader and PM Ivica Dačić did not come to Požarevac, Mrkonjić said that Dačić was "performing tasks today," and that the party was "complete and united."
According to Mrkonjić, Tuesday marks "eight years since Milošević was murdered at the Hague." He also stressed that "every passing day confirms what Milošević spoke about."
"If there was no Dayton agreement that defines the foundation of the Serb Republic, and if there was no UN Resolution 1244 related to Kosovo, I don't know what would happen to our people across the Drina River, and in Serbia," he stated.
This SPS official believes that Milošević's role "remains current," and that history will show that the former president was "the last statesmen of that caliber coming from these regions."
"I expect, in particular, that the current state leadership will recognize Milošević as a president killed in the Hague, by naming a street after him, or in another way... and by allowing his family to return to the country," concluded Mrkonjić.
"Issue must be settled"
It is time to settle the issue of a return of former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević's family to Serbia because it is a legal, rather than a political issue, PM Ivica Dačić said on Tuesday.
Dačić is president of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), founded and led until his death by Milošević.
Asked by reporters to comment on Mrkonjić's statement, Dačić said that the issue has been discussed several times in the past, even in 2008, with the then president of Serbia Boris Tadić.
"The question is whether one dares to return or not and whether there is a prosecution under way. Someone should declare publicly whether the family is on the list of those under prosecution. These are legal issues, which need to be assessed, and they are not political since the present authorities are not persecuting the Milošević family in that sense," Dačić said.
It is important to settle the issue of the Milošević family from the legal point of view, as well as the issue of whether they will be arrested if they return to the country, the prime minister said.
The question is whether the former president's family wants to return to Serbia at all, he said
The members of the family are disappointed with Serbia's attitude towards Slobodan Milošević and many of them do not want to come back because they believe that Serbia has treated its former president and his family unfairly, Dačić said.
He said that he does not seek that anyone be exempt from responsibility, but added that whether one is responsible or not should be known after 14 years.
"I do not know for how many more years all this should go on, because it usually ends very quickly. You know that I am not on good terms with them, and this is not a political condition or demand. However, the issue should be settled, If they are guilty, they should be convicted, and if they are not, the issue should be settled," Dačić concluded.