Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post
While attempting to provide an objective report from Mostar, Bosnia ("Bridge over still-troubled waters rises anew in split Bosnian city" Thur, July 22) reporter Daniel Williams fails to provide a completely clear picture of today's Bosnia.
Mostar is the only city in Bosnia today where western democratic values and procedures have been totally disregarded by the current OHR, Paddy Ashdown. In all other Bosnian cities, such as Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla, etc - the majority rules and democracy prevails, just like in the United States. Not so in Mostar. It's bad enough that the Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Islamic (Muslim) communities have chased out over two thirds of the remaining Bosnian Croats from Bosnia since 1992 - but now Croats have been denied democracy in the one city where they remain in majority. Ashdown's exhortations about it's his way or "it's back to war" hide his failure to govern by basic democratic norms.
Furthermore, throughout Bosnia, Ashdown has allowed the Bosnian Serbs and Muslims to teach their own children in their own language in public schools, but has denied this basic human right for the Bosnian Croat community. Bosnian Croat parents rightfully protested in Mostar when they could not have their children taught in their own language - and not a language constructed by Islamic bureaucrats based in Sarajevo.
The Bosnian Croat community is the minority community in Bosnia today. Before pointing the finger at this minority - Daniel Williams might do well to re-examine the Dayton Peace Agreement, which supposedly protects the basic rights of all citizens of Bosnia.
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