Adults are responsible for stopping the spreading of hate produced by war which policies keep on disseminating, and it’s a big deal that Croatia’s state leadership and the Serb community representatives have decided to change that tendency, Serb Democratic Independent Party of Croatia (SDSS) president Milorad Pupovac said on Tuesday.
During an appearance at the HRT public broadcaster where he spoke about the commemoration of the Serb civilian war victims held in Grubori, he stressed “it’s a big deal that the Andrej Plenkovic cabinet and President Zoran Milanovic, alongside us the Serb community, have decided to change the trend and stop the spreading of hate produced by war”.
Pupovac confirmed the anchor’s statement that Croatia was still waiting for the acknowledgement of all victims and suffering from the 1990s war.
“We are doing everything for that communication to begin on as many fronts as possible, and for this process to be accepted in Serbia as well, but also in other parts of Former Yugoslavia, as something that will be done together, with all the differences which will remain nonetheless, while simultaneously cultivating respect for the victims and creating a culture of peace and normalized relations”, said Pupovac.
He said the Grubori commemoration bore great significance as very strong messages were conveyed from there, different in tone and content but homogeneous in stance – expressing the condemnation of crimes, sympathy and respect for the victims, sympathy for those who remembered them, as well as signaling a shift to the future.
The anchor noted that Croatia was making steps forward, yet Serbia was not, and wondered whether it was time for Serbia’s delegation to pay its respects to the victims of Vukovar. Pupovac said two things had happened which showed that Serbia was starting to make steps or gestures.
Firstly, according to Pupovac, President Aleksandar Vučić received representatives of Croatian institutions in Serbia for talks on vital topics for the Croatian community there, including their integration and participation in the executive authority. Secondly, he added, Vučić’s special envoy on Issues of Missing Persons Veran Matić traveled to Grubori today.
Those are messages which say “let’s deal with unresolved minority issues and let’s deal with the issue of the persons missing in war, one of the most painful topics in the Croatian-Serbian relations”, Pupovac added.
He noted that Matić said he was confident Vučić would also reach out to show respect for the Croatian war victims, saying that he shared Matić’s confidence and that it was not unrealistic to expect that to occur in the not-so-distant future.
Asked if children were growing up with prejudices and if they cared who was a Serb and who was a Croat, Pupovac said that, unfortunately, young people cared about that much more than adults both in Croatia and in Serbia.
“Young people don’t know what coexistence meant; they only know war experiences and war stories, messages and war divisions”, he said, adding that it was finally time to start changing that and for young people to learn how to have respect for their own and the suffering of their compatriots. /ibna