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» (E) Vukovar, Drvar Its Croatian population had gone
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 02/5/2004 | Politics | Unrated


Half-Empty or Half-Full Towns?

Many refugees have returned to towns synonymous with ethnic cleansing. Many have not, and it doesn't look likely they will return soon. A success or a failure?

by Tim Judah

VUKOVAR, Croatia, KOZARAC and DRVAR, Bosnia and Herzegovina--Are you an optimist or a pessimist? You know how to tell. When you see a half-full glass of water do you say that it is “half full” or “half empty”? That was easy. Now for a hard question. When it comes to the former Yugoslavia, and you see a town with half its prewar population, do you say that it is “half full” or “half empty”?

Consider this: At the end of 1995, the formerly Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) town of Kozarac lay in ruins. It was almost completely deserted.

Vukovar, in eastern Croatia, was also still in ruins. Its Croatian population had gone, much of it replaced by Serbian refugees from elsewhere.

Drvar, in western Bosnia, was not a ruin, but its entire Serbian population had fled, only to be replaced by Croatian refugees.

Consider this: Today almost every single house in Kozarac, which lies deep in Bosnia’s Serbian entity, Republika Srpska, has been rebuilt. Half of its pre-war population has returned.

Vukovar has been almost entirely rebuilt, but only half its pre-war population lives there.

In Drvar, everything has changed too. The vast majority of the Croats has gone and the local Serbs are back. Now this is a solidly Serbian town again--but deep inside the Bosniak- and Croat-dominated Federation entity.

With the end of the wars and the absence of the “big story” some amazing changes on the ground have gone virtually unnoticed by the rest of the world.

And not just the rest of the world. Ask someone in Belgrade, Zagreb, or Sarajevo who lives in these three towns today and the likelihood is that they’ll look completely blank--if not a little disdainful too.

These three towns may be far-flung provincial backwaters, although actually not that far from the three capitals, but it is in these three towns, perhaps more than anywhere else, that you can see the new frontline. That is, between optimists and pessimists.

For the optimists there is plenty of good news. In Vukovar Serbs and Croats live and work, side by side. In Kozarac, Bosniaks are back in force and in Drvar Serbs are home too.

And ammunition for the pessimists? Only half the prewar populations are back. People live side by side, maybe, but not together like before. It seems unlikely that any more people will return.

But that is not necessarily because they don’t want to--it is because they can’t. There is no work for them.


Lying along the road between Prijedor and Banja Luka in northern Bosnia, Kozarac became a symbol of the wartime ethnic cleansing.

In the summer of 1992 Serbian forces simply drove out the entire population. Thousands of local Bosniak men also ended up in the most infamous and murderous of the wartime camps, Omarska and Keraterm.

Houses were then systematically dynamited. The architects of Serbian wartime policy deemed it necessary to completely cleanse a solidly ethnic Bosniak wedge deep in an area they wanted to claim.

In the aftermath of the Dayton Accords, which ended the war in 1995, Bosniaks were left in no doubt that they would not be welcome if they tried to return.

But that was then.

From 1999 onwards, through a combination of the determination of the people and international aid and pressure, the return began.

Now 10,000 Bosniaks, half the original number, are back and some 90 percent of houses have been rebuilt.

As everywhere in Bosnia, 90 percent of legal claims to have houses returned to their lawful owners have been solved. Bosniaks here are also back because they feel physically secure.

Nineteen ringleaders of the wartime ethnic cleansing in the area have been indicted and tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.

In eastern Bosnia by contrast, where fewer people have been indicted or arrested, the rate of return is far lower.

Overall, far more people have returned home, or at least have resolved their status, than many realize. According to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, almost a million refugees out of an original total of 2.2 million have come home. The agency estimates that today only some 400,000 still want to return somewhere in Bosnia.

Someone who did not know the history of Kozarac and who was just passing through could be forgiven for not realizing the extent of the horrors that happened here.

Jasmin Jakupovic, a Bosniak returnee, has invested heavily in building a large new restaurant in town. It is called Stara Basta (The Old Garden). Jakupovic has even hired a sculptor to create stone figures to decorate the garden and buildings.

He says he returned because he “can’t live without Bosnia.” But why, I asked him, has the rate of return been so high here as compared to so many other places? He replied: “We are different because of the will to return. And we suffered most after Srebrenica.”

Close by is the police station, from which hangs the Serbian flag, the police here being Republika Srpska police even if some of the policemen themselves are ethnic Bosniaks.

A little further down the road is a renovated school, which works according to the Bosniak curriculum. Bosnian Serb and Croat schools have different ones.

Across the road from the school locals point to where some of the family of Dusko Tadic still live. Tadic, a Serb, was the first man ever to be convicted by the ICTY.

Locals say that more people would have returned if there were more jobs, but much of the former heavy industry and the mines around here, as elsewhere in Bosnia, is defunct.

Still, even before the war people from Kozarac had a strong Gastarbeiter, or guest worker, tradition, for many worked in Switzerland. These links helped cushion the blow of being forced out in 1992 and provided money or refuge for the exiles.

During the holidays many more return to Kozarac, and some of those who work in Slovenia or Austria often drive home just for a weekend.

But not everyone is happy to be back. In a shop in Kozarac a 20-something woman working there, who asked that I not use her name, told me: “If it was up to me I would not have come back to live amongst people who committed crimes. My husband wanted to come back.”

She continued: “Salaries are low and prices high. We have no holiday, no paid social security, and no days off. I would not just leave here, but leave Bosnia.”

In that, she is not alone. Indeed, polls show that two-thirds of young Bosnians want to emigrate.


Before the war the municipality of Drvar had a population of 17,000. It was 97 percent Serbian. Of that number 9,000 lived in the town of Drvar, which had a high employment rate thanks to its thriving lumber industry.

Until the tail end of the war Drvar saw no combat. Its men spent much of their time fighting along the Bihac front.

Drvar, however, had some strategic importance. It lay along the road which connected the Serb-held Krajina region of Croatia with Republika Srpska and Serbia.

As the war drew to a close, Croatian and Bosnian Croat forces closed in on the town. The entire population bar some 80 elderly Serbs fled.

The Dayton Agreement placed Drvar well inside Canton 10 of the Federation. It also called for the return of all refugees. But the new Croatian masters of the region had other plans. With Serbs having fled Krajina, the HDZ felt it imperative to build an ethnic buffer zone along the border.

By 1998 it looked as though they had succeeded. Up to 6,000 Croats, mainly refugees from central Bosnia, had been brought in, plus 2,500 troops from the Croatian Defense Council (HVO), the Bosnian Croat Army, and their families.

When Serbs tried to return in 1997 and 1998, houses were torched, two elderly Serbs were murdered, and the mayor, Mile Marceta, elected with Serbian refugee votes, was attacked.

In Bosnia, the international community pledged tough action to reverse this situation. What is astonishing is that now not many people know what a phenomenal success this has been.

Today Mile Marceta, no longer mayor but an important local figure nonetheless, can easily be found around town.

According to him there are now only 800 Croats left here, while 8,000 Serbs have returned to the municipality. More would return, but as elsewhere, the problem is lack of jobs. Indeed, he says, because of this “people have started leaving again.”

While Canadian troops from SFOR, the NATO-led peacekeeping force, ensure security, Marceta complains that his people are still forgotten by the outside world. As an example, he says, outlying areas of Drvar have not yet been reconnected to the electricity grid.

Today, of 29 local policemen, 20 are Serbs and nine are Croats. Yet a flag emblazoned with the Croatian “checkerboard” still hangs outside the police station. It was deemed unconstitutional by the Federation’s Constitutional Court in 1998, but the local Serbian police, fearing the sack, don’t take it down.

This is because local power does not lie at the municipality level but at the canton level and, although three out of six municipalities in the canton are dominated by Serbs, there are well over twice the number of Croats in the other three.

Thus, local Serbs now go about their business on streets whose names recall Croatian nationalist heroes. It feels as though Drvar were some extremely odd little Croatian colonial outpost.

Mile Marceta complains that while “Europe stood behind Kozarac and everything was rebuilt better than before,” Drvar has been forgotten by the international community and foreign donors.

Local taxes go to Canton 10’s capital Livno, where the Croat-dominated government sends little back, Marceta says. “What we need here is the rule of law, and economic revival.”

The main employer is Finvest, a Croatian company which bought the biggest local sawmill after 1995. Many local Serbs grumble that this was a classic case of a firm being privatized by being given to friends of HDZ leaders. As Serbs began to return to Drvar, it was hard to find work at Finvest. Now, as Croats have moved out, the company has had to employ locals.

Many worry that a huge amount of illegal logging is despoiling the region and undermining chances for a real economic recovery in the future.

As memories of the war years recede, local Serbs have begun to venture back to the Croatian coast to take their holidays. Almost everyone, though, has family in both the Republika Srpska and Serbia and there is a lot of movement between the three places.

And it is not just that. As is the case elsewhere in Bosnia--and much to the rage of statisticians--many in Drvar are registered as living in several places at once. While locals had to register as returnees to get their property back, many have managed to stay registered as refugees in Republika Srpska and Serbia as well, to keep social benefits or to qualify in the future for a passport issued by Serbia and Montenegro.

Drvar, of course, was a famous Partisan stronghold during the Second World War and you can still see the cave where the wartime leader, Josip Broz Tito, lived during his time here. This year locals hope to celebrate the 60th anniversary of a famous battle and in this way gain publicity for their town.

Perhaps it is some of that Partisan spirit that has brought people back. There are those who complain, though, that a lot of that spirit has gone.

One young woman, a member of the small, activist Drvar Youth Council, told me: “It is all about jobs. Here, everyone wants to work, but there are no jobs. So, everyone, even with money, feels trapped. It is just so dead.”

“I would love to stay,” continued the woman, who asked not to be named, “and fight for a better tomorrow, but no one else is interested. There is a real lethargy here, especially amongst young people.”

Almost nine years after the end of the Bosnian and Croatian wars, Vukovar, Kozarac, and Drvar are symbols of something. For optimists it is renewal and the gradual defeat of the ethnic cleansers. For pessimists, it’s the opposite. Watch this space. This story has many years left to run.

Tim Judah is the author of The Serbs: History, Myth & the Destruction of Yugoslavia and Kosovo: War and Revenge.

» (E) Music around the bonfire
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 02/5/2004 | Media Watch | Unrated


Dancing around the fire

Not sure about autheticityo of the story, but here it is, what people write and think.

Thursday, February 05, 2004
Copyright © Las Vegas Mercury

Music: Plucky charms
Flogging Molly upends Irish tradition
By Ched Whitney

For the uninitiated, the experience goes something like this: The ensemble comes on stage, toting the requisite traditional instruments--fiddle, tin whistle, mandolin, etc. The singer, a fortysomething Irish gentleman, cues the band members, and they launch into what sounds like a conventional Irish ditty.

Then someone bumps the turntable to 78 rpm.

Flogging Molly has been blending Irish folk rhythms with punk rock velocity since singer and acoustic guitarist Dave King got the band the together in the late '90s. King--who was the singer for the '80s hard rock band Fastway--met his bandmates at Molly Malone's, a venerable Los Angeles Irish pub where King performed on open-mic nights.

"The guys and the girls used to come down and see me, and that's where we all met," King said recently from his L.A. home, where the band has been rehearsing for a new album, a follow-up to 2002's Drunken Lullabies.

Having tasted some success and played at Madison Square Garden, King decided some of the associated trappings of that success didn't jibe with the lessons of his modest Irish upbringing. But the music did.

"For me growing up in Ireland, I was brought-up piss-pot poor. We had nothing," King says. "We had one room in the flat. But we had a piano in that room. Almost every Friday and Saturday, my mother and father would go out to the pub, and they'd come back with a load of people. And they'd all sit around the room and take turns singing a song. All we had was music.

"Looking back on it, it's almost like I'm trying to get back to that stage--the honesty of just music."

Flogging Molly released its first studio album, Swagger, in 2000 and quickly built a cult following with frequent gigs. A much-hailed run on the 2001 Warped Tour brought the band additional notice. While King is certainly pleased with the success, he is adamant that the band makes music first and foremost for themselves.

"People might say, `Why traditional music?' When you're young, you want to hear electric guitar and let your hair grow and fuckin' rock out or punk out, or whatever," he says. "To me, when I came over to America [about 10 years ago], it hit me: I was brought up on this music, and I ran away from it."

And though King says, "I don't fuckin' care if you don't like [Flogging Molly]," he says he feels fortunate to be doing something that resonates with people. He relates a story from an Italian friend who worked in refugee camps inCroatia. Lacking the resources to rebuild the bombed-out cities, people were forced to live in camps.

"Every night, Herzegovinians and Croatians and Yugoslavians were all sitting around the campfire and bickering. Every night they'd build a bonfire and the Croatians would want to here Croat music and they'd bicker over it." One night King's friend got out his boombox and put on Flogging Molly, and everyone stopped fighting and started dancing around the fire.

"Now if I can be sitting here in L.A. rehearsing or something," King says, "and somebody that we don't know, who are going through hell on Earth... and we're putting a smile on their face? I mean, for fuck's sake, that's more than any politician will ever fuckin' do. It's very, very humbling to think that you're doing something in your life that maybe means something to somebody else."

Copyright © Las Vegas Mercury, 2001 - 2004
Stephens Media Group

» (E) Croatians in Italian Concentration Camps
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 02/5/2004 | History | Unrated


Croatians in Italian Concentration Camps

The following story discusses a recent book published in Italy which
discusses Italian concentration camps whose victims primarily consisted
of Croats and Slovenes. It appeared in the February 6, 2004 edition of
Vjesnik. John Kraljic

Corriere della Sera: Fascists Camps in Croatia - a Stain of Italy

Rome, February 5. Camps which Italian occupation forces raised in
Croatia during the Second World War have been called a stain on Italy by
Corriere della Sera.
In its Thursday edition, the newspaper dedicated an entire page to the
book "The Duce's Camps" which describes fascist camps in Croatia and
Italy in which Croats and Slovenes were imprisoned. The book went on
sale on Thursday.
Author Carlo Spartaco Capogreco collected information concerning the
camps of Italian fascists in Italy and abroad for over 20 years and has
now published a book which shows, as Corriere della Sera writes, that
"the Italians were not really as good in history as they have attempted
to portray."
On the Dalmatian coast, Italian fascists had camps on Rab where Croats
and Slovenes from Rijeka, Slovenia and the northern Adriatic were
imprisoned. They also had a camp in Molat for central Dalmatia and in
Mamula and Prevlaka for the southern Adriatic. Another 5 camps for
Croats and Slovenes were built in Italy, in Ginar and Visco in the
Venezia-Giulia region, Monigo and Chiesanuova in Veneto, and Renicci in
Tuscany. "For Slovenes and Croats, who made up the bulk of the
internees in the camps, it was a true hell on earth [and] which meant
[for them] their complete liquidation," wrote the newspaper. In
researching through European and Italian archives, Capogreco created "a
picture of the horrors of fascist Italy. [His work is [characterized]
by the quality and depth of his research." He spent years looking for
the locations or remains of the camps.
Among other things, Correire della Sera writes that "thanks to his work,
one can reconstruct the history of the Duce's concentration camps,
concerning which he made a complete catalogue in the second half of the
book, and thus end the amnesia of the 'good Italian.'" (AR/Hina).

» (E) Internet Radio Lijepa Nasa
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 02/5/2004 | Community | Unrated

Internet Radio for the world community


» (E) Waterpolo - Croatia won 6-1 and the gold medal
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 02/4/2004 | Sports | Unrated


Croatia Won Gold With 7 Victories

CROATIA vs. GERMANY 6-1 (2-1, 2-0, 1-0, 1-0)
German players had burst most of their energies in yesterday’s match against Russia they won assuring themselves the Olympic participation. Moreover last night they righteously celebrate watching an inevitable samba show staged on purpose in the premises of their hotel, the Rio Othon. For the Croatian it was just a formality to reassert their superior standing, with 2 goals in each of the first two quarters and 1 for each of he last two periods. Croatia, who had beat Germany 3-2 also in the Preliminary Round was the only team ending the tournament with all victories, a 7-match long winning streak.

CROATIA: Vican (GK), Buric, Vranjes 1, Simenc 2, Volarevic (GK, d.n.e.), Stritof (C), Smodlaka, Milakovic, Frankovic 1, Barac, Hinic 2, Fatovic, Kobescak. Coaches: Roje, Segvic (A).
GERMANY: Tchigir (GK), Zellmer (GK, d.n.e.), Schroedter, Weissinger (C), Dierolf, Politze, Wollthan 1, Schertwitis,Kreuzmann, Nossek, Kaiser, Mackeben, Pohlmann. Coaches: Stamm, Hohenstein (A).
REFEREES: Gabor Kiszely (HUN), Nikolaos Stavropoulus (GRE).


1. RADU (ROM) 13
3. BOOJ (NED) 10
3. COSIC (CAN) 10
4. CIPOV (SVK) 9

By Nenad N. Bach | Published 02/4/2004 | Politics | Unrated



Slobodna Dalmacija, Marijan PUNTARIC, 3. veljace 2004.
NOVA UHICENJA Jelavic, Prce, Rupcic i Azinovic gonit ce se i zbog "pokusaja uspostave samostalnog hrvatskog entiteta na podrucju Hercegovine 2001". Ta tvrdnja iz obrazlozenja Zahtjeva za odredjivanje pritvora prijeti i svim ostalim politicarima u BiH koji su sudjelovali u proglasavanju Hrvatske samouprave

Proslog je tjedna iz Kazneno-popravnog zavoda Kula, u Srpskoj Ilidzi, nedaleko od Sarajeva, gdje je vec deset dana pritvoren zajedno s Miroslavom Prcom, bivsim federalnim ministrom obrane, i Miroslavom Rupcicem, bivsim direktorom Hercegovina osiguranja, bivsi predsjednik Bosne i Hercegovine i bivsi predsjednik HDZ-a BiH Ante Jelavic otvoreno porucio da se protiv njega poveo montirani politicki proces. Jelavic je upozorio javnost da njegovo "zarobljavanje, spektakularno otimanje i pritvaranje od SFOR-a i medjunarodne zajednice ima iskljucivo politicku pozadinu. Smijesno je da se akcija SFOR-a organizira protiv gradjanina koji je, pred nenadleznim Sudom BiH, po clanku 358. Kaznenog zakona Federacije BiH, osumnjicen za zloporabu polozaja i ovlasti i nesavjesno poslovanje.

Sa svim dokumentima i pritiscima koji su od OHR-a ucinjeni na Ustavni sud BiH u slucaju Jelavic, a koji izravno svjedoce o politickom karakteru vec pripremljene optuznice i, navodno, odredjenog datuma sudjenja Jelavicu, Prci, Rupcicu i Azinovicu, upoznat je drzavni vrh Republike Hrvatske. Proteklih dana upucena je i sluzbena nota Sarajevu kojom je pokazana briga i interes RH za osiguranjem pune zakonitosti u kaznenom postupku koji se pred Sudom BiH vodi hrvatskim drzavljanima i trazi odgovor nadleznih BiH organa.
Politicki tuzitelj
Akcija SFOR-a i, navodni, gospodarski kriminal, za koji me tereti Posebno odjeljenje Tuziteljstva BiH za organizirani kriminal, nikako ne idu zajedno. Nisam ja odgovoran ni za zlocine u Srebrenici, a nisam valjda ni Karadzic, Hussein ili Bin Laden", ustvrdio je Jelavic. Je li Jelavic bio u pravu kada je ustvrdio: "Ovaj proces koji od pocetka vode stranci pretvorio se u politicki proces, u kojem ce nas se optuziti za ugrozavanje teritorijalne cjelovitosti BiH i suditi nam za politicko djelovanje na uspostavi hrvatske samouprave, a Hercegovacku banku proglasiti sredisnjom financijskom institucijom u funkciji nekakve separatisticke politike HDZ-a BiH i rusenja ustavnog uredjenja BiH. To je razlog mojega zarobljavanja." Na zalost, dokumenti koji su u posjedu redakcije "Slobodne Dalmacije" ukazuju da je Ante Jelavic imao pravo.

U opseznom i proteklih dana dobro cuvanom obrazlozenju Zahtjeva za odredjivanje pritvora, koji je zamjenik glavnog tuzitelja BiH, sef Posebnog odjeljenja za organizirani i privredni kriminal Amerikanac John H. McNair uputio sucu Amerikancu Bernardu Bolandu, jasno pise: "Hercegovacka banka je bila osnovni element nastojanja da se financira uspostava samostalnog hrvatskog entiteta u Hercegovini pocetkom 2001. godine. Dana 3. marta 2001. clanovi hrvatske nacionalisticke stranke, HDZ, na celu sa Jelavicem, proglasili su privremenu hrvatsku samoupravu, pokazavsi svoju namjeru da se odvoje, ukoliko druge dvije zajednice u BiH ne ispune odredjene uslove. HDZ je marta 2001. godine pozvala HVO da se povuce kao hrvatska komponenta Vojske FBiH.

Narednog dana oko 7000 hrvatskih oficira i vojnika napustili su svoje kasarne. Isplate takvim HVO jedinicama koje su ucestvovale u ovom demonstrativnom napustanju, od toga trenutka su vrsene sa racuna Hercegovacke banke, koje je posjedovalo nekoliko kantona i subsidijarnih pravnih lica Hercegovacke banke, Hercegovina osiguranje, Eronet i Croherc AG Mostar. Do 6. aprila 2001. banka je postala sredisnji mehanizam putem kojeg su osumnjiceni i njihovi pomagaci imali namjeru da financiraju odvajanje."

Iako se proteklih dana u javnosti kao razlozima uhicenja kalkuliralo prije svega osnivanjem i mogucim nezakonitostima u poslovanju Hercegovacke banke, te preusmjeravanjem novca iz proracuna RH preko HVO za druge potrebe, cini se neupitnim da ce se optuznica protiv Jelavica, Prce, Rupcica i Azinovica bazirati na kaznenom progonu radi "pokusaja uspostave samostalnog hrvatskog entiteta na podrucju Hercegovine iz 2001. godine", kako stoji u Zahtjevu za odredjivanje pritvora.

Tuzitelj McNair podsjeca da je jos u studenom 2001. godine Kantonalni sud u Sarajevu donio rjesenje kojim je utvrdjeno da "postoji osnovana sumnja da su cetiri osumnjicenika pocinili krivicno djelo pokusaja otcjepljenja dijela teritorija BiH protuustavnim sredstvima, organiziranjem i odrzavanje Hrvatskog narodnog sabora i Medjuzupanijskog vijeca 3. marta 2001. godine"...., te da su "Jelavic, Prce i drugi pocinili krivicno djelo podrivanja vojne i obrambene moci donosenjem odluka kojima se naredjuje raspustanje hrvatske komponente Vojske FBiH".

Tuzitelj McNair, medjutim, istice kako je o Jelavicevoj zalbi na nadleznost Kantonalnog suda u Sarajevu, odlucivao Vrhovni sud FBiH, a potom i Ustavni sud BiH. McNair konstatira da je Ustavni sud BiH udovoljio zahtjevu Jelaviceva odvjetnika da se daljnji postupak protiv Jelavica pred Kantonalnim sudom u Sarajevu prekine, te da se donesenom privremenom mjerom sve do tada poduzete radnje Kantonalnog suda stave izvan pravne snage do konacne odluke. Ali, tuzitelj McNair ne govori istinu kada u Zahtjevu za pritvaranje istice da "u toku naredna 23 mjeseca Ustavni sud nije donio konacnu odluku", te je zbog toga medjunarodni tuzitelj 20. listopada 2003. obavijestio Ustavni sud o namjeri da zatrazi naredbu o prijenosu postupka na Sud BiH.

Ustavni sud BiH je bio sprijecen donijeti konacnu odluku i to izravnom intervencijom viskog predstavnika u BiH Wolfganga Petritscha. Da je doista na djelu najava velikog politickog procesa protiv Jelavica, Prce i dugih zbog politickog djelovanja, i da ce se dvije optuznice, ona za gospodarski kriminal u vezi s Hercegovackom bankom, i ona za rusenje ustavnog poretka BiH, stopiti u jednu, i to pred Sudom BiH, potpuno je jasno iz tocke 72. Zahtjeva o pritvaranju. McNair navodi "da se pred Kantonalnim sudom u Sarajevu otvaraju pitanja od najveceg drzavnog znacaja i obuhvacanju krivicna djela protiv teritorijalnog integriteta, politicke nezavisnosti i drzavne bezbjednosti BiH. O optuzbama vezanim za pokret hrvatske samouprave najbolje se moze presuditi na nacin da se ti postupci izmjeste sa Kantonalnog suda u Sarajevu..."

Skandalozno pismo
Ono sto je tuzitelj McNair presutio zanimljiva je prica i dokumentacija koja je u posjedu "Slobodne Dalmacije", a iz koje je razvidno da se tijekom svibnja 2002. godine, izravnim politickim pritiscima iz Ureda visokog predstavnika OUN-a za BiH, utjecalo na Ustavni sud BiH da ne objavi vec donesenu odluku o ukidanju svih radnji koje su protiv Jelavica i drugih, u postupku zbog rusenja ustavnog poretka, donesene pred Kantonalnim sudom u Sarajevu. Ustavni sud nije samo propustio svoje rjesenje uciniti pravomocim vec je popustio pred pritiscima, promijenio odluku i cijeli postupak protiv Jelavica i drugih, vratio na pocetak. Tako je prvo rociste protiv Jelavica, Prce i ostalih u obnovljenom postupku koji, evidentno, ima politicki karakter, sazvano za 29. sijecanj 2004. godine.

Medjutim, sest dana prije, osumnjicenici su vec bili u pritvoru pod sumnjom da su pocinili gospodarski kriminal. Na taj je nacin, izravnim mijesanjem OHR-a u neovisnost i samostalnost sudstva, najbolje pokazano da je BiH protektorat medjunarodne zajednice. Tako su upravo duznosnici medjunarodne zajednice pruzili dokaze Jelavicevoj tvrdnji da se radi o montiranom politickom procesu. Naime, Ustavni sud BiH je 25. i 26. veljace 2002. godine donio rjesenje kojim je usvojio apelaciju Ante Jelavica, u kojoj on istice da mu je onemoguceno Ustavom zajamceno pravo na pravicno sudjenje.

Ustavni sud BiH dao je za pravo Jelavicu i donio privremenu mjeru kojom se privremeno obustavlja izvrsenje odluka Kantonalnog suda u Sarajevu, temeljem istrage otvorene u studenom 2001. godine. U toj istrazi Jelavica, Prcu i nekolicinu hrvatskih politicara u BiH se teretilo za kaznena djela protiv teritorijalne cjelovitosti BiH i slabljenja vojne i obrambene moci BiH. Pet mjeseci prije, uspostava hrvatske samouprave je bio povod visokom predstavniku OUN-a Wolfgangu Petritschu da smijeni Antu Jelavica s duznosti clana Predsjednistva BiH.

Na odluku Ustavnog suda BiH, Petritschev ured reagirao je pismom koje je Ian Campell, zamjenik visokog predstavnika i sef pravnog odjela, 22. ozujka 2002. uputio predsjednici Ustavnog suda BiH prof. dr. Snezani Savic. Campell upozorava Ustavni sud BiH da je rjesenjem koje ide u prilog Jelavicu, napravio "ozbiljan propust ako Sud nije smatrao da je Ured visokog predstavnika zaista trebao biti pozvan da makar dade svoje komentare kao amicus curie u ovom slucaju, a prije nego je Sud donio odluku".

Campell u ime OHR-a otvoreno trazi da Ustavni sud promijeni svoju odluku. "Na srecu, zbog cinjenice da odluka nije finalizirana, ocito je da Sud jos uvijek moze ispraviti ovaj vazan nedostatak tako sto ce redigirati ili promijeniti svoju odluku prema clanu 67. ili 68. Poslovnika Ustavnog suda". I kako ne bi bilo nikakve dvojbe sto OHR radi i sto OHR trazi, Campell u svojem skandaloznom pismu kojim se otvara mogucnost novih politickih procesa na ovim prostorima, kojim se ugrozavaju svi principi pravicnog sudjenja u BiH i rusi neovisnost i samostalnost BiH pravosudja, posebno istice:... "ovim pismom vam prenosim zahtjev visokog predstavnika da se ne poduzimaju nikakvi daljnji koraci u pogledu redigiranja ili odobrenja dok se ne mogne ponoviti postupak, kako bi se ponovo obavila rasprava"..., dodajuci kako W. Petritsch ima "stvarno najjaci interes za slucaj koji je u pitanju".

Sud je popustio
Vec 17. svibnja 2002. godine predsjednica Ustavnog suda BiH dr. Snezana Savic odgovara zamjeniku viskog predstavnika da "predmet ocjene pred Sudom nije bila odluka visokog predstavnika za BiH, tj. visoki predstavnik nije bio ucesnik u postupku, Vas komentar od strane Suda nije trazen". Dr. Savic tako je dala do znanja OHR-u da nije sudionik u sporu i da odluke Ustavnog suda ne mogu biti predmet njegove intervencije i pritisaka. Medjutim, politicki pritisak na Ustavni sud BiH bio je suvise jak i neumoljiv. Vec 23. svibnja 2002. godine dr. Savic pise novo pismo zamjeniku visokog predstavnika Ianu Campellu u kojem mu kaze da ce zahtjev visokog predstavnika "proslijediti Sudu na preispitivanje donesene odluke", u smislu clanova Poslovnika Ustavnog suda BiH. Naime, odluku da se Rjesenje Ustavnog suda ne objavi u "Sluzbenim novinama", kako bi postalo pravomocno, vec da se vec donesena odluka preispita, donijelo je vecinom glasova Malo vijece Ustavnog suda BiH, u sastavu dr. Snezana Savic, Azra Omeragic i Mirko Zovko, zamjenici predsjednice.

Tako je Ustavni sud BiH priznao da su sudovi u BiH samo instrument u rukama medjunarodnog protektorata. Na Jelavicevu zalbu na takvu odluku nitko nije odgovorio. Pravni ucinak stvari sastoji se u tome da se cijeli proces i istraga protiv Jelavica, Prce i drugih zbog istih kaznenih djela ugrozavanja teritorijalne cjelovitosti i slabljenja vojne i obrambene moci, opet vratila na pocetak, opet pred nenadleznim Kantonalnim sudom u Sarajevu. Prvo rociste u obnovljenom politickom procesu za rusenje ustavnog poretka BiH i uspostavu fantomskog treceg entiteta, sto Hrvatska samouprava rezolutno nije ni bila, Jelavicu, Prci, Batinicu, Tokicu, Milicu i drugima, trebalo je zapoceti 29. sijecnja 2004.

Prvo saslusanje pred Kantonalnim sudom omelo je uhicenje i pritvaranje Jelavica i Prce, temeljem odluka Suda BiH, koji o tome nije donio ni sluzbeni nalog. To ujedno znaci da se mogu ocekivati ne samo nova najavljena uhicenja pojedinih generala ili duznosnika u vezi s Hercegovackom bankom, vec da ce se uskoro pred Sudom BiH naci i svi oni politicari koji su s Jelavicem sudjelovali u proglasavanju Hrvatske samouprave, kao pokusaja upozorenja na neodrzivost neravnopravnog pravnog, politickog i drustvenog polozaja hrvatskog naroda u BiH.

Oni ce, prema najavama tuzitelja McNaira u Zahtjevu za pritvaranjem, odgovarati za rusenje ustavnog poretka i odcjepljenje hrvatskog entiteta uz uporabu vojne sile. Kako je to bilo moguce u uvjetima kada je HVO bio raspusten, i kada vise nije bilo novca za njegovo odrzavanje, jer iz hrvatskog drzavnog proracuna preko racuna u Hercegovackoj banci vise nisu stizali novci u BiH, ostaje vidjeti.

Sedmorica su znala za akciju uhicenja
Sa svim dokumentima i pritiscima koji su od OHR-a ucinjeni na Ustavni sud BiH u slucaju Jelavic, a koji izravno svjedoce o politickom karakteru vec pripremljene optuznice i, navodno, odredjenog datuma sudjenja Jelavicu, Prci, Rupcicu i Azinovicu, upoznat je drzavni vrh Republike Hrvatske.

Proteklih dana upucena je i sluzbena nota Sarajevu kojom je pokazana briga i interes RH za osiguranjem pune zakonitosti u kaznenom postupku koji se pred Sudom BiH vodi hrvatskim drzavljanima i trazi odgovor nadleznih BiH organa. Zanimljivo je da za SFOR-ovu akciju uhicenja Jelavica, Prce i ostalih za gospodarski kriminal nije znala ni sudbena, ni izvrsna vlast BiH. Cak ni ministri unutrasnjih poslova i sigurnosti.

Za akciju uhicenja znali su samo Paddy Ashdown, britanski i americki veleposlanici u Sarajevu, zapovjednik SFOR-a, tuzitelj McNair, sudac Boland i ravnatelj Federalnog MUP-a Zlatko Miletic.


The Croatian World Congress CWC, functions on all continents and in all countries of the world where there exist Croatian communities. The Croatian World Congress (CWC) is a non-profit, non-governmental and non-party international organization that enjoys advisory status as a NGO member of the United Nations.

The Croatian World Congress CWC, although a young institution, unites numerous Croatian associations world-wide as no other Croatian body has succeeded nor attempted to achieve to date (4.5 million Croats and people of Croatian heritage live outside of the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina).

Croatian World Congress H.S.K.
NGO Member of the United Nations

» (E) Israeli Ambassador - No Anti-Semitism in Croatia
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 02/4/2004 | Politics | Unrated


 "I like the combination of old and new"

The following translation of an interview with Israel's ambassador to
Croatia appeared in the Januart 28, 2004 edition of Vjesnik. John


Zagreb, January 27. The Israeli Ambassador to Croatia who has her seat
in Vienna, Yael Rubenstein, rates relations between Israel and Croatia
as more than good, emphasizing that she expects continued cooperation
with the new government. In a discussion with Vjesnik, Ambassador
Rubenstein emphasized that Jews in Croatia feel completely equal with
other Croatian citizens and that the possibility of cooperation between
the two nations are promising. The Israeli ambassador notes with
pleasure that there is no anti-Semitism in Croatia.

Vjesnik. - Among the 19,000 Righteous Gentiles, 98 are from Croatia.
How do you see the contributions and courage of Croatian citizens in
saving Jews during World War II?

Rubenstein. - Those 98 Croats together with other Righteous Gentiles in
the world were extremely brave and for me are the most worthy persons.
Working in such a manner during the dark period of our history during
World War II and being so brave so as to do what you believe, in spite
of the atmosphere which then prevailed in central European countries and
in Germany and Austria, acting in keeping with one's conscience, is
something with which we should all admire. We should take this as a
lesson for the future, because I believe that such racism and hatred
toward one who is different or toward a foreigner should not have a
place anywhere in the world.

Vjesnik. - Do Jews feel the effects of the Holocaust today, in Croatia
and elsewhere?

Rubenstein. - My impression, after meetings with the Jewish community in
Croatia and with other Israelis who now work in Croatia, is more than
good, they feel terrific in Croatia, they have excellent relations and
cooperation with ministries and institutions. They feel completely
secure, fully equal and they have no problems, they feel very satisfied.
Of course, all have some memories concerning what occurred fifty years
ago. I visited the Jewish community in Zagreb and I was impressed with
their activities. I think that they feel completely equal as do other
people in Croatia who are not Jews.

Vjesnik. - We are witnesses to occasional anti-Semitism in many
countries. What can we do to stop it?

Rubenstein. - I am very satisfied that I can say that Croatia is not one
of those countries in Europe in which we are confronted with
anti-Semitism. In some other Western European countries, which I will
not now mention, some of them are in the European Union, we are
confronted with strong anti-Semitism, burning of synagogues or attacks
on rabbis on the street. Personally, I see this as a deficit in serious
education. The fact that someone can come to a Jew, Christian or Muslim
and attack him only because he is something that he is not is something
that I cannot understand. I think that European countries, as all
countries in the world, must concentrate on educating people to
understand that in civilized society it is completely normal that not
everyone be totally the same. It is fine to believe in a different
faith, a different track, to be a member of another party. Tolerance is
one of the key questions of this and the following decades.

Vjesnik. - How do you see present day relations between Croatia and

Rubenstein. - I see much potential if we think about economic and
political relations. I see Croatia as a very friendly country toward
Israel. In the past two years we have had two presidential visits,
first your president came to Israel and then our president came to
Croatia. Now you have a new government and we hope that some of your
ministers will visit Israel, including the Premier. In Croatia we feel
as if we are at home, not only me as an Ambassador, but it is also a
feeling I get from other Israelis who work or live here.

Vjesnik. - What is the potential for economic prospects between Israel
and Croatia to further advance?

Rubenstein. - I attempt to direct all of your visits [to Israel]
especially toward the development of economic relations. I see great
potential in many areas, such as in agriculture. We in Israel developed
a unique system of irrigation, and I know there are problems in
Slavonia. I think that cooperation can also be achieved in health care.
We can share with you the latest findings in the treatment of cancer or
dialysis, we always want to share these findings with friendly nations,
among which are Croatia. We can also have certain common views with
respect to the EU and NATO.

Vjesnik. - How can Israel assist Croatia in approaching Euro-Atlantic

Rubenstein. - We are not part of the European Union, but we have a
special agreement with the Union. For certain reasons we currently do
not wish to be a part of the EU and we are not concerned with those
problems, but we are close to the Union. Since Croatia is one of those
countries which will enter into the Union in the second round, it is in
our interest that we closely work with current and future members of the

Vjensik. - What are your impressions of Croatia?

Rubenstein. - I like Zagreb very much. I have been to Split, Dubrovnik
and Hvar and some other islands. It is such a beautiful country. We
also have a beautiful coastline but you have all those islands and when
you drive from Dubrovnik to the north it is magical. In Zagreb I like
the combination of old and new which we have in Jerusalem. That
combination is always impressive and unique.

Jurica Korbler

» (E) On Stage For Any Ear
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 02/4/2004 | Opinions | Unrated


Cruising the Internet...

Cruising the Internet danas, CroWorldNet was one of the many sites to tune in and read and visualize and get the latest info, what are the Croatians doing now and where are they these moments.
I was particularly attached to the "Prljavo Kazaliste" info. Tonight they play in New York city.
About a week ago, as luck would have it, I found myself in Vancouver, Canada. How I arrived there was information, as they say now-a-days, so five minutes ago. As luck would have it "Prljavo Kazaliste" put on a concert that kicked-ass, knocked down the winter blues, refreshed the heart beats and connected me with something Croatia here and now in the present tense.
For two hours at the Croatian Home off of Commercial Drive in Vancouver, "Prljavo Kazaliste" rocked and rolled, brought down the house, tuned up the blood flow, made the audience feel like it was on a roller coaster with no parachute available.
For two hours, I photographed "Dirty Theater." For two hours I tapped my toes, danced the feet, smiled, sang, captured moments that will be memorable for decades.
For what "Prljavo Kazaliste" brought to a generation of Croatians, radical rock and roll, some twenty five years later, I stumbled on to a concert photographing men who didn't know their age, didn't care what time it was, never mind the name of the city, a number of tunes heard for the first time, a number of new memories generated, now assembled together for this photo artist, combining proslosti, the hours weaving together something to understand after so many narodne nosne postcards past tense.
Kiss ass rock and roll, Croatian, adult, full of piss and vinegar, on stage for any ear willing to open the door and be understood.

                                                                --Steve Renko

» (E) William Sambrailo - California Agricultural Pioneer
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 02/4/2004 | In Memoriam | Unrated


Watsonville packaging pioneer William Sambrailo, 1927-2004

The following story concerns Croatian-American William Sambrailo and
appeared in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. John Kraljic

February 4, 2004

Watsonville packaging pioneer William Sambrailo, 1927-2004
Sentinel staff writer
William King Sambrailo, whose idea revolutionized the way berries and
other agricultural products are packaged for market, died Saturday while
skiing in Jackson Hole, Wyo. He was 76.

Sambrailo was chairman of the board of Sambrailo Packaging, a
Watsonville-based company started by his father in 1923.

A former cattle rancher and rodeo bull rider, he never lost his love for
adventure or his passion for skiing.

"You never had to slow down for Bill," said Frank Capurro, a longtime
skiing buddy and business associate. "You had to catch up."

Sambrailo was born in Watsonville and raised in a small house on Lincoln
Street. His father was a Croatian immigrant, and his mother came from a
family that settled in Castroville after emigrating from Portugal in the

He raised Hereford cattle and apples after the family purchased a ranch
in Aromas in 1952, and entered the family packaging business after his
father died in 1962, He was highly regarded as an innovator and
supporter of Pajaro Valley agriculture.

Grower Nita Gizdich said she relied on Sambrailo and his company for 50
years to provide packaging for her apples and berries.

"If you weren't sure what kind of box or container to buy, (he) was
there for you," Gizdich said. "He would go to conventions and come back
with new ideas. (Sambrailo) was really for the farmer. To have somebody
like that, that's why our valley's so great today."

Sambrailo developed the idea for clamshell packaging, the ubiquitous
clear plastic containers used for berries and other produce, after he
was served lunch in a similar container, said Miles Reiter, chairman and
chief executive officer of Driscoll Strawberry Associates Inc.

In the late 1980s, raspberries were packaged in cardboard containers and
a plastic cover held on with a rubber band. The packaging caused the
berries to "squash and leak," limiting shelf life, Reiter said.

"The raspberry business wasn't going any further without new packaging,"
Reiter said. Sambrailo's idea "made raspberries the No. 2 or 3 crop in
the county."

He grew Sambrailo packaging as well, building facilities in Salinas,
Santa Maria, Oxnard and in San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico, and
employing up to 250 people during the growing season.

He was a founding director of the Pajaro Valley Bank, and served on the
board from 1983 to 1991. He remained a director with the new owner,
First National Bank, until 2001.

He contributed to numerous charities, including the Community Foundation
of Santa Cruz County, St. Patrick's Church Building Fund, Moreland Notre
Dame School, St. Francis Central Coast High School, Mora High School,
Watsonville Community Hospital Foundation and the American Cancer

Sambrailo also was remembered Tuesday for an adventurous streak that
sometimes got him in trouble. In 1974, while skiing in Canada, he got
caught up in an avalanche and escaped by jettisoning his skis and
jumping feet-first over an embankment. The same year he got trapped
under a raft during a river trip and nearly drowned. He attended the
2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and broke his ankle while doing
some skiing of his own on a mogul run. He recovered during the summer
and strapped his skis back on when the new season started.

"He had a zest for life," said son Mark Sambrailo. "He didn't want to

He enjoyed biking, hang gliding, kayaking, stained-glass art, sculpture
and hiking. He recently took up marathon walking, and finished first in
his age class in a South Carolina race a few months after a minor heart
attack. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2000.

His passion was skiing, and he didn't miss a season in 60 years. He
started in the sport when wood skis and cable bindings were the rule.
More recently he used a mono-ski and a pair of twin tipped pocket
rockets, a kind of ski favored by young riders who spend hours doing
tricks in resort terrain parks filled with jumps and half-pipes.

Capurro, who grows vegetables under the family business name, Topless,
had accompanied Sambrailo to Jackson Hole. Though Capurro said he is
"20-some years" younger than Sambrailo, he considered him a close
friend. His sense of fun and his upbeat outlook even made strangers
gravitate toward him, Capurro said.

"He was 76 in age, and 36 in spirit and heart," he said.

Contact Donna Jones at .

William K. Sambrailo
BORN: June 17, 1927, in Watsonville.

DIED: January 31, 2004, in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Watsonville High School in 1945 and from Santa
Clara University in 1950.

OCCUPATION: Board chairman, Sambrailo Packaging.

SURVIVORS: Wife Eileen Sambrailo; stepmother Ruth Sambrailo; sons Mark
Sambrailo and Michael Sambrailo; daughter Judy Sambrailo; stepsons Kevin
Bromber and Brian Bromber; and 10 grandchildren.

SERVICES: 11 a.m. Friday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 721 Main St.,
Watsonville. Friends may call 3-9 p.m. Thursday at Mehl's Colonial
Chapel, 222 E. Lake Ave., Watsonville.

CONTRIBUTIONS: St. Francis Central Coast High School Foundation,
Moreland Notre Dame School, Pajaro Valley Historical Association, The
Jean & Ed Kelly Foundation, or charity of donor's choice.

» (E) Discover the Wines of Croatia
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 02/4/2004 | Events | Unrated


Discover the Wines of Croatia

Enclosed is an invite from the NFCA for the wine tasting event. Besides
tasting different wines, they have a nice dinner included. It will be a
fun-filled night so pass this along to your Cro colleagues and others who
migh tbe interested. Space is limited so first come, first serve.

Dinka Kalinic


The National Federation of Croatian Americans
Cordially invites you to a
Wine Tasting of Fine Croatian Wines

Experience the magic of Croatia through its winesand
meet fellow Croatian American Professionals

c c c c c

Master of Ceremonies
Steve Rukavina of Washington D.C., Past Pres. NFCA
and Croatian Wine Expert/Advisor

7:00PM - 9:30 PM

LOCATION: The Wonderful ARNO Restaurant
141 West 38th Street
(Between 7th & Broadway)
- Street and garage parking available -

Dinner and wine will be served.
Sponsored by the National Federation of Croatian Americans
$80.00 per person (Checks payable to the NFCA)

If you plan to attend, please RSVP by Monday, February 16th to:
Erik Milman 202.331.2830
John Kraljic
Michael Young 201.816.1560

- space is limited -


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Croatian Constellation

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