Serbia - different nationalities live in peace

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 March, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 March, 1999, 12:00am

I do not want to talk about the real truth, the reasons that stand behind the Nato attacks on Serbia; for that I would need a lot more space.

If South China Morning Post readers are interested, they can read a history book. But, who reads books today? People watch TV to learn the truth. Many of you have never heard the Serbian side.

I am Montenegrin, my mother is Croatian of German origin. I was brought up in Slovenia and I am living in Serbia. Serbia is a country where all the people of different nationalities (Hungarians, Slovaks, Romanians, Ruthenians, Bulgarians, Germans, Greeks) live in peace. Each minority has its own newspapers, TV channels in its own language, schools in its mother tongue, even departments and faculties at the university.

These minorities built their churches, preaching their own religion and nobody bothers them. No country in the world gives so many rights to its minorities.

Albanians in Kosovo also have these rights, but they want a country of their own.

Nato has become their ally. Why? Is it because Kosovo has the greatest mineral resources in the Balkans? Is it because Serbia needs to comply with the dictates of the Nato pact (Serbia was the only country that did not accept partnership for peace with Nato), so Nato found the Albanians to fight against the Serbs? Who can tell the actual truth? I, my wife and our three children (aged 10, eight and six) live in Novi Sad, which has already been bombed. The night we were bombed, when I heard the first three blasts I didn't know what was happening. The entire building was shaking as if there was an earthquake.

The children ran from their bedroom asking what was going on? I said that the army was testing its weapons, just in case. What else can you tell children? I turned on the TV and realised that Yugoslavia had been attacked. All the bigger cities and towns were bombed. There had been casualties and devastation. One hour later, the sirens went off again and we could hear new blasts. Now I knew what was going on, so I told the kids to put on their clothes, because we needed to go to the air-raid shelter. I'm not sure why, but in the end we didn't go to the shelter, we stayed at home. My wife took the children to the bedroom, tucked them in and got them to sleep. I wondered what the children could be thinking about at that time? Then our youngest daughter said: 'Mummy, good night. Maybe we won't see each other in the morning and I just wanted to tell you one thing, I love you all.' She was whispering, so that her elder brother and sister couldn't hear her. I put my faith in God.

Bombing is not a solution to the conflict.

I urge all people who have the means and capacity, including journalists, to raise people's awareness of this fact, and to make a public protest for peace. Instead of preventing the spread of war, Nato and the US have put an entire country's population in a state of war and under constant mental pressure.

Dr RANKO RAJOVIC Chairman Mensa Yugoslavia Novi Sad, Serbia