Thursday, September 6, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 6 ,2007) – “Soft” areas of security, such as the way children are educated, can over the long term pose just as great a threat to a country’s stability as “people with guns,” Ambassador Douglas Davidson,the Head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Bosnia, said in remarks to the guests at a reception in honor of the 13th World Congress of Comparative Education Societies and International Pedagogues held at the Bosnian National Museum.

Ambassador Davidson went on to elaborate about the dangers to the stability of the Bosnian state posed by its current methods of education. Over the past twelve years, through the teaching of different histories, geographies and languages, schools had become the means to separate the three so-called constitutive people from one another, Davidson said.

“It is as if the three peoples now inhabit three different countries”, he noted. For example, Bosniak, Croat and Serb students still continued to “sit in classrooms populated only by members of the same ethnic group." Davidson said.

This meant that children did not develop an allegiance to the country as a whole, but rather only an allegiance to the particular people or “nation” to which they belonged.",the OSCE Mission to Bosnia stated.

The feeling of alienation produced by this way of education did not bode well for the future.The OSCE Mission to Bosnia had therefore developed two priorities for its efforts to assist in the reform of education in Bosnia.The first was the creation of a body that would establish and enforce a common set of standards for educational achievement throughout Bosnia.The secondly the introduction of a curriculum that was similar country-wide,the OSCE said.

Together, these constituted part of the incremental process of changing the politics, perceptions and ultimately the structures of education in Bosnia. Both offered the best chance for dealing with the phenomenon of “two schools under one roof” and the “national group of subjects,” the OSCe said.

Ambassador Davidson concluded by noting that schools had to overcome the notion of “nation” as constituting “constitutive peoples” rather than “nation” implying a country as a whole.

The current view seemed more reflective of the comment once made by American political scientist Karl Wolfgang Deutsch that a nation was “a group of people united by a mistaken view about the past and a hatred of their neighbours.”


VENICE, Italy (September 6,2007) - In a show of collective support for a region still recovering and rebuilding from a destructive war, it was announced that the producers, actors and director of the much talked about film “The Hunting Party” will be donating all profits from the film’s release in former Yugoslavia to charities involved with the demining of the region as well as for the caring of land mine victims.

The announcement was made at the Venice Film Festival yesterday where the film had its World Premiere.

Written and Directed by Richard Shepard, “The Hunting Party” cast includes Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Kruger, Joy Bryant, James Brolin, Ljubomir Kerekes, Kristina Krepela, Dylan Baker and Mark Ivanir.

Producers are Bill Block, Mark Johnson and Scott Kroopf. Executive producers are Paul Hanson, Bo Hyde, Martin Schuermann and Adam Merims.

“Landmines don't discriminate. They kill Bosnians, Serbians and Croatians equally. As a commitment towards the healing of all the people of the former Yugoslavia, with whom we came to love and respect through the months of shooting ‘The Hunting Party,’ we will donate all our profits in the Balkans to the removal of those destructive weapons and the care of those injured by them. May this be a small step towards a genuine transformation of hatred into love and forgiveness,” US actor Richard Gere said.

“The decision to donate the profits from this region is simply the right thing to do.While shooting the film in Croatia we were all educated on the real dangers that still exist in the region – one of the most troubling being the land mines scattered throughout the landscape. The country has come a long way since the war but the remaining dangers need to be eliminated and those who have suffered should be taken care of. To that end, we’re excited for the film’s opening and hope it generates great business in order for the charities to receive the funds they need to carry out their mission,” producer Bill Block said.

SPI is distributing the film in the former Yugoslavia. The Weinstein Company has North American rights and will open the film this weekend in the U.S.

In the film, TV News reporter Simon Hunt (Richard Gere) and cameraman Duck (Terrence Howard) have worked in the world's hottest war zones: from Bosnia to Iraq, from Somalia to El Salvador. Together they have dodged bullets, filed incisive reports and collected Emmy awards. Then one terrible day in a Bosnian village everything changes. During a live broadcast on national television, Simon goes into meltdown. After that his high profile career is finished; Duck gets promoted and the two men part.

Five years later Duck returns to the Bosnian capitol Sarajevo with rookie reporter Benjamin (Jesse Eisenberg) to cover the fifth anniversary of the end of the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

Simon shows up, a ghost from the past, with the promise of a world exclusive. He convinces Duck that he knows the whereabouts of Bosnia’s most wanted war criminal “The Fox”. Armed with only spurious information, Simon, Duck and Benjamin embark on a dark and dangerous mission that takes them deep into hostile territory.

“The Hunting Party” is based on the article "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" by Scott K. Anderson, which was published in Esquire in 2000.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 6 ,2007) - The Bosnian government decided to bar entry to the country for 42 people listed by the EU as possible aides to war criminals.

Bosnia's Prime Minister, Nikola Spiric, also indicated that the Bosnian government might soon also decide to freeze the assets of supporters of the war-crimes indictees, Bosnian daily "Oslobodenje" reported.

Bosnia has yet to freeze the assets of the indictees themselves, despite calls by the office of the international community's high representative in Bosnia, which has been charged with overseeing Bosnia's postwar development.

Four men indicted by the ICTY remain on the run: wartime leaders of the Serbians living in Bosnia,Serbian war criminals Radovan Karadzic,Ratko Mladic and Stojan Zupljanin and Serbian war criminal Goran Hadzic, a wartime leader of the Serbians living in Croatia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 6 ,2007) – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Deputy Resident Representative in Bosnia Stefan Priesner, together with representatives of the Bosnian authorities, officially marked at a press conference in Sarajevo the launch of the public awareness campaign on HIV/AIDS.

The campaign titled “Don’t Live in the Dark – Learn More! Get Tested!” will be implemented across Bosnia with the aim of raising public awareness on the threat posed by the HIV virus, as well as on the need for a systematic and coordinated response.

A TV ad with the numbers of two info-lines (033 612 661 and 051 219 054), which will give Bosnian citizens more information about AIDS, was also presented at the press conference.

Due to the fact that Bosnia is among countries with a low number of people with HIV, the focus of the campaign will be on strong prevention, but also on reducing the branding and rejection of people with HIV by the society.

Young people and those most at risk in Bosnia are the target groups of this campaign.

There are 40 million people living with AIDS in the world, including 2 million children. 4,3 million news cases were registered last year alone.

There are 133 registered persons suffering from AIDS in Bosnia, the Bosnian Assistant Civil Affairs Minister Senad Sepic told a press conference.

Social-economic insecurity, lack of information and silence can complicate the situation in countries such as Bosnia.

The campaign has been launched in partnership between UNDP, the entity ministries of health and institutes for public health thanks to a grant provided by the Global Fund for Fighting AIDS.

The program will cost 11 million Bosnian over a period of five years.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 6 ,2007) - Rohypnol, the so-called "date rape drug", has reached the Bosnian market. Although no cases have been reported so far, the Bosnian law enforcement agencies around the country warn Bosnian citizens about the potential danger of the drug.

Initially designed to treat sleeping disorders, Rohipnol has been administered for more sinister purposes. As a matter of fact, several cases around the world report the drug being given to women without their consent in order to remove their inhibitions.

Dzemal Murga, an Independent Inspector with the Anti-Narcotic Department of the Sarajevo Canton police, confirms that it can easily be spiked to a victims’ drinks undetected, as it is colourless, odourless and tasteless.

Rohipnol causes sedation or euphoria in approximately 20 to 30 minutes. The predominant clinical manifestations are drowsiness, impaired motor skills, and amnesia. Hence, someone who has taken the drug unwittingly is unlikely to remember what happened while they were under the influence.

The best advice to avoid being spiked is to trust no one. Counsellors say anyone who feels at risk should never accept any opened drink, particularly not from a stranger.

Tamper-proof bottles or cans are recommended. They should not be opened by someone else.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 6 ,2007) – In the light of the ever-growing number of traffic accidents, the FBIH entity government has adopted a decision to develop a strategy aimed at enhancing traffic safety.

As a matter of fact, the number of traffic accidents in the FBIH entity rose by 12 percent, with a 30 percent death toll increase.

The planned strategy, to which 5,000 Bosnian Marks have already been allocated, will consist of a set of actions to enhance traffic safety, while establishing and eliminating the causes of accidents.

The the FBIH entity's Ministry of Interior Minister, Muhidin Alic, has confirmed that 108 people died in car accidents this year, which is 50 percent more than last year. He drew attention to the preventive measures that are currently being implemented in Croatia. Bosnia’s neighbour aims to reduce the number of traffic fatalities to 13.8 percent – or 10 in 100, 000 people.

EU Member States aim to reduce that number to 7 fatalities in 100,000 by 2010.

“Unfortunately, Bosnia has the poorest traffic safety situation in Europe, because we do not have a strategic approach to that problem.That is why we wish, in cooperation with other institutions, to provide a basic strategy for the next five years.

Throughout the month of August, traffic controls have been intensified throughout the FBIH entity. Special training is also planned for drivers who regularly violate traffic regulations. And, last but not least, the technical evaluation of vehicles on the one hand, and the medical examination of their drivers on the other, will no longer be just a formality.