Milosevic: Time Has Come to Stop Hatred

Total Croatia News

Screenshot | N1 Hrvatska
Screenshot | N1 Hrvatska

Screenshot | N1 Hrvatska

ZAGREB, Aug 1, 2020 – Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milosevic said on Saturday that he will attend the August 5 commemoration of Operation Storm in Knin as a cabinet member, a Croatian Serb aware of the burden of the war legacy, because he believes the time has come to stop hatred and start building a culture of peace.

Writing on his Facebook page, Milosevic said he is going to Knin because he believes that 25 years after the war it is necessary to stop hatred and war which, unfortunately, for many is not over.

“Children of Serb ethnicity know this best because in their schools they have to endure stigma and feel the guilt just because they are Serbs,” Milosevic said.

“I am going because I want to make their future easier. I am going because I think the time is ripe for a policy of understanding and respect to prevail over a policy of hatred,” he added.

Milosevic said that during Operation Storm he had been in his native Sibenik, worrying about his father who had been mobilised as a Croatian army soldier, for his friends who were in the Croatian army, and for his relatives who were on the other side.

He said it was difficult for him to make this decision because of his personal family tragedy as his paternal grandmother had been shot dead from close range in the village of Bribirske Mostine in the wake of Operation Storm.

“The murderer was identified accidentally because of his own arrogance, believing that no one would investigate the murder of a Chetnik (Serb) woman, as he himself put it. He was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison and got out after 3.5 years following a presidential pardon,” Milosevic wrote.

Milosevic said that Operation Storm is not just a military and police operation but also “an enormous collective trauma”. For Croats, it is a symbol of the start of long-awaited peace and cessation of occupation, while for Serbs it is a trauma of an exodus, suffering, fear, uncertainty and the impossibility of returning to their homes.

He said he is aware that his attendance in Knin will not change the opposed views on Operation Storm among the majority on both sides, but that he is willing to accept any gesture aimed at promoting tolerance and mutual respect so that “we can confirm ourselves as a democratic society that can achieve co-existence and prosperity regardless of any differences, including those in interpreting our common past.”

“Building an atmosphere of reconciliation and dialogue in which we as society must recognise and accept all the victims regardless of their ethnicity, is much more important than my presence in Knin,” Milosevic said.


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