Wednesday, November 26, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 26,2008) - Bosnian authorities organised a series of events to mark Statehood Day yesterday.

A member of the Bosnian State Presidency Haris Silajdzic sent his greetings to all Bosnian citizens on the occasion of November 25, the Bosnian Statehood Day.

”I want us to mark this national holiday in dignity, remembering all those who gave their lives for foundation of the Bosnian state. The duty of us all who love this country is to remember the victims who fell for its freedom, independence and sovereignty, to build a modern, multiethnic and multicultural state for all its citizens without discrimination on any basis”, stated Silajdzic in his greetings.

On the occasion of November 25th,the Bosnian Statehood Day, flowers were laid and tribute was paid to the Bosnian soldiers killed during the World War II on Tuesday in front of the Eternal Flame in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

A member of the Bosnian State Presidency Zeljko Komsic, representatives of the City and Canton Sarajevo, SABNOR members, members of the Democratic Youth Movement, SDA Party and citizens of Sarajevo laid the flowers.

Bosnian State Presidency member Zeljko Komsic delivered the following speech on the occasion of the Bosnian Statehood Day:

"Councilors of ZAVNOBIH, dear comrades, ladies and gentlemen, Your Excellencies, dear friends, respected officials…

On today’s day, exactly 65 yaers ago, at the first session of ZAVNOBIH held in Mrkonjic Grad, 173 councilors from Bosnia took part in the session.

Out of 173 afore mentioned councilors, 8 are still alive. Unfortunately, for health reasons following councilors are not attending this ceremony: Boro Popovic, Ibro Sator, Rade Hamovic and Enver Redzic. However, we have the honour to host other councilors, including: Krstan Bijeljac, Oskar Danon, Ljubo Babic and Mile Perkovic. I would kindly ask you to greet them.

I extend my sincere greetings to you all and congratulate you the National Day.

Celebrating this national holiday, when 65 years ago in Mrkonjic Grad, in Europe besieged by fascism, in the middle of seized territory, a landmark occurred in the history of our country, let us recall this important historic date, as a foundation stone, upon which modern, democratic Bosnia rests.

I will not repeat this time the legendary ‘3 and’ or ‘nor 3’ from the ZAVNOBIH session, but I will remind you that it was the session of the Council of Bosnia's antifascists from all the peoples living in Bosnia. It is true that antifascist movement was led by communists, but the fact is that most antifascist and patriots were not members of Communist party of Yugoslavia.

I would like to point out that we are talking about the event which not only confirms the continuity of the Bosnian statehood, in the only right way. And that is- every citizen of Bosnia is equal in his rights and way of life, regardless of the part of Bosnia he lives in, and regardless of the fact whether or not he belongs to ‘majority or minority’ in that part of our homeland. Or, to put it simplier-Bosnia, every part of it, even the smallest one, belongs to every Bosnian citizen.

In its history which is thousands of years old, its peoples have demonstrated, although they suffered and lived through numerous blows dealt by various enemies and policies, that peace, tolerance, and co-existence become something of a genetic code, to put it that way.

I would like to send out the message to our friends from international community, to those, who, as opposed to us from Bosnia, all this might not strike them as something close and familiar.

I am aware of the fact that, those who do not wish well to our country, tell stories to you who are not from here, trying to convince you of something, present you with the so-called historical facts, that almost ‘the natural condition’ of this country is conflict, lack of tolerance, and the only way to peace and stability is division, separation, ethnic disintegration, to the stories that Bosnia should be wiped off the face of political world map.

However, if that is the way things are, don’t you think that this country would have disintegrated before, and that history would have waited for its present enemies to complete their task?

Bosnia has neither disintegrated nor separated before the forces of that time, including Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Ustasas’ NDH, cetnik military movement, before neighbouring fascists at the end of the 20th century. Those were forces too strong for such a small country, but small Bosnia still exists. I think that all things said lead to a irrefutable conclusion!

Conflicts and wars in Bosnia have always been bloody and fierce, but according to historical parameters, they lasted shortly, and most importantly, they were always imported, started beyond the boundaries of Bosnia.

Dear friends…

There is no doubt that ZAVNOBIH is a foundation stone of modern Bosnian statehood, but also that it is a model which points to the way we cannot only live together, but equitably and happily, something that no country can live without.

If we live in the same country, if we are the citizens of the same country, than the minimum of civilized behaviour, historical recollection and civic culture implies to celebrate today’s date as the common national holiday of all its citizens and peoples.

As for the appropriate mode of celebrating the National Day, that is, the reason for not celebrating it in certain parts of Bosnia, I would like to repeat the following:

The date of signing the Dayton Peace Agreement I consider as an important date in the recent history of Bosnia, which should be celebrated in a dignified manner, but 25th November, the date of celebration of ZAVNOBIH, and reaching decisions, I personally find of utmost importance, as a crucial landmark, and the sole National Day of Bosnia.

It is the task of this generation to path the way towards the common future, and that is free, democratic and prosperous Bosnia.

Our only future is Bosnia as the unity of equal and egalitarian peoples, a society composed of equal and egalitarian citizens where there would not be those with fewer or no rights, and those with more rights.

Finally, what we must remember on today’s path to European Union is that we must learn from the rest of Europe, take advice, learn from its experience, of course, not haphazardly, and never fail to remember that we can and must do for ourselves mostly by our own forces.

With the wish to remain adamant in building and strengthening of our country, as a country of well-being, security, and common well-being, I would like once again to extend my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the Bosnian National Day!

Thank you!"


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