We are on the eve of Easter and I would like to send to you all our traditional “Christ is Risen” greetings. While I write this, bombs continue to fall on Belgrade and on other cities in Serbia and Montenegro. Tragically, the NATO aggression is still going on and the ordinary people are suffering. For more than two weeks bombs and missiles have been destroying our country’s infrastructure and killing innocent ordinary citizens. Since they did not think it proper to break off hostilities on 6 April, the 58th anniversary of German bombing of our capital city when several thousand innocent citizens lost their lives, I wonder if they are going to bomb Belgrade on this Easter Sunday too? Or will they perhaps remember that exactly on Easter Sunday back in 1944 allied bombers unnecessarily bombed Belgrade causing heavy casualties and huge material damage? Perhaps they will wisely refrain from having a repeat performance?
Deeply concerned for the fate of my people and indignant at the injustice done to them, I have appealed and continue to appeal to the NATO leaders to stop bombing Yugoslavia. The regime is one thing, and people are another. The ordinary Serbian people have done nothing to deserve this! We were loyal allies of the Western democracies in two world wars and suffered great losses. Back in March and April 1941 the Serbs made great sacrifices as a nation in order to side with the United Kingdom which then stood alone in her valiant struggle against the Axis powers. Today, the tragedy is that the United Kingdom is aggressively taking part in air strikes against our country! The same applies to France and the United States.
They keep saying that their aggressive intervention is in order to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo, but everybody can see that the humanitarian situation in the region has been disastrously aggravated. I have always been adamantly in favour of democracy and human rights. I am decisively against inhuman actions such as ethnic cleansing and discrimination or oppression of people on account of their ethnic origin, political affiliation or religion. In their history the Serbian people have observed the principles of gentlemanly conduct, and true Serbs cannot imagine inhuman treatment of other people. It is unjust to bomb Yugoslavia, because people have come to the defence of state sovereignty and territorial integrity of their country. Kosovo is an inalienable part of Serbian territory and the cradle of Serbian heritage.
At this moment it is impossible to foresee the final outcome of NATO aggression, but I believe in the Serbian people’s strength. Despite the destruction caused by NATO bombs the Serbian people will endure and will renew themselves and rebuild their country. But this is also a time for re-examination. In addition to the irresponsible decision of NATO leaders, we should ask who else is responsible for this disaster which has befallen our people, which will set us back for several decades? It is necessary, therefore, to raise that paramount political question since we cannot continue along the disastrous path followed for more than five decades. The most important of all is the question of a democratic, moral and spiritual rebirth of the Serbian people!
I call on all Serbian men and women and all citizens of Yugoslavia not to despair. Aggression will come to an end and it is necessary to think of the future. A future only in democracy and human rights for all citizens. I deeply believe in the Resurrection of Serbia!
Christ is Risen!
London, Easter 1999