The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
welcomes the courageous gesture of President of the Serb Academy of
Arts and Sciences /SANU/ Vladimir Kostić who spoke out about the
reality recognizing Kosovo’s independence. Serbia’s elite would
demonstrate their maturity by spelling this truth to citizens at
large, he said.
The truth is that people in Serbia are fully aware
of this fact. However, exposed to political and media manipulation
all the time they have been under permanent pressure for national
homogenization in the matter of Kosovo. What Academician Kostić said
was a turning point when it comes to SANU – he distanced himself
from the Academy’s once destructive policy and role it played in had
in upholding the Greater Serbia project.
President of the Republic Tomislav Nikolić’s
reaction to this statement asking for the Academician’s deposal and
denying him the right to the freedom of expression is unacceptable
to say the least.
It would be most welcome should it be SANU,
considering its authority, to initiate a social dialogue on
recognition of realities entailing the normalization of relations
with Kosovo (and Albania) and Serb-Albanian historical
Many organizations and individuals in Serbia have
been in communication with Kosovo for past decades thus preparing
the ground for a dialogue at the level of state. Should SANU back
its President, Serbia could get a chance for starting a process that
opens its prospects and the prospects of the entire region.
The Helsinki Committee looks forward to a similar
courageous gesture about Bosnia-Herzegovina.