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INFO   :::  Press Release - PAGE 3 > Open letter to President of the Republic Tomislav Nikolic


Open letter to President of the Republic
Tomislav Nikolic

Belgrade, February 2013

Dear Mr. President:
We appeal to you to renounce the title Tchetnik Duke given to you at Mt. Romanija in 1993.

Though the title you hold is practically worthless, such a gesture on your part would considerably contribute to Serbia’s and Serbs’ relations with other nations and countries. Serbia’s inability to resolutely distance itself from the dark age of 1990s and all the myths and delusions of the era in which it was in war with the entire world is the origin of all the troubles facing it today. Moreover, these myths and delusions seem to be making a comeback in past years, along with their authors and executioners.

Unless these retrograde trends are promptly ended Serbia could be easily facing serious challenges once again. Though you are not the only one responsible, you are most responsible of all to counteract the country’s regression and make a clear break with everything Serbs as nation can hardly be proud of. A noble gesture by a number one of any state has always been a model of excellence – a gesture symbolizing your breakup with the past would only encourage others wishing to do the same but still dreading public reaction.

We believe anyway that you yourself are not exactly proud of that period in your life. No matter how people in Serbia treat the Tchetnik movement today that would not make it less controversial and less questionable to say the least. Our neighbors abhor it, especially the neo-Tchetnik movement of 1990s. Many neo-Tchetniks have ended up in the dock, accused of war crimes: as such they have smeared us all. Neither Serbia nor you do need such a legacy. Nothing can free us from the responsibility for the crimes our compatriots have committed. But the least we can do for ourselves and for others is to call things by their right names and break up forever with everything that discredited us worldwide. This implies not a formal – and thus shallow – apology but a clear-cut and publicized condemnation of 1990s, their protagonists and their warring ideologies.

Last but not least, Mr. President, you said on several occasions you wished to be a president of all citizens of Serbia, as duty-bound by the Constitution. But this you cannot be as long as you hold that “Duke” title: not until tear up its “papers” in public. Numbers of citizens of Serbia – and not only those standing behind this letter – would never identify themselves with the Tchetnik movement and wish not to be represented by its follower. The fact that they have not given you their vote is not a problem because electorates are divided in every parliamentary democracy. What is the problem is that a head of state and a great part of the society disagree on fundamental values. This is bad for Serbia, for you yourself and for everyone thinking differently. It is your duty, Mr. President, to make the first step towards lessening this gap. And you can do it by renouncing the title that makes you the President of a part of Serbia only.


Belgrade, February 2013


Alliance of Anti-fascists of Serbia

Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia

Women in Black

Youth Initiative for Human Rights

Group “Monument”

President of the Political Council of the 4th Convention of Vojvodina Zivan Berisavljevic

Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights

Center for Cultural Decontamination

Fund „Biljana Kovacevic Vuco“

Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina

Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies



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