MY letter which appeared in the South China Morning Post, on September 12, was not meant to be an assertive history of Yugoslavia, but was designed to explain in simple terms, the reasons behind the present-day conflict in that part of the world.
Yugoslavia which Mr Skrbic (Post, September 19) refers to, did not exist under that name in 1918, but was called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovins. The name was officially changed to Yugoslavia in 1929.
Short-lived and terminated by the sudden departure of the king and his family, it failed to justify the trust and respect of its subjects.
Although conceived as progressive at the time of its formation, sadly, what remained after the king's departure were scores of armed, disillusioned nationalists, called Chetniks, whose brutality found a perfect target in the newly-created Croatian state. This state retaliated with the formation of its own type of nationalist militia. A vicious circle of hate followed. The existence of separate countries within the kingdom is documented.
Austria indeed referred to parts of Croatia, which it held under its administration at that time, as Vojna Krajina, just as many parts of Bosnia and Croatia are referred to as de-militarised zones or 'safe heavens' at the present time.
Lastly, Bosnian Muslims are not ethnically different peoples to Serbs or Croats. They are different only because of historical events which made them embrace Islam as their religion. To discriminate against them is wrong and immoral.
History should be the mother of all learning not the source of all evil.
MIRA BULJAN New Territories