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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

more than 2000 honour dead Croatian general who drank cyanide at the Hague

In Triplicane, two decades and half ago, there was a murder – and there were close to 2000 people in that funeral procession as the man dead was carried in a lorry with bags of flowers ! ~ wondered how so many were attracted to that man, reportedly a criminal with murder charges !  - how do they become cult heroes – Are cinemas made on them ? 0r they turn so seeing movies ??

It is  25 years since the start of the Bosnian war which followed the breakup of the formerly Communist Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. After Slovenia and Croatia seceded from Yugoslavia in 1991, the multi-ethnic Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed a 1992 referendum for independence. Nearly half of its citizens were Bosnian Muslims. Nearly a third were Orthodox Serbs and the rest mostly Croatian Catholics. Independence was rejected by the political representatives of the Bosnian Serbs, who had boycotted the referendum though it gained international recognition. The Bosnian Serbs, led by roly-poly poet Radovan Karadžic and supported by the Serbian government of Slobodan Miloševic and the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA), mobilised their forces inside Bosnia and Herzegovina to secure ethnic Serb territory. War and ethnic cleansing followed. Around 100,000 people were killed, 2.2 million people were displaced, becoming the  worst conflict in Europe since World War II.

Bosnia and Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe located on the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city. Bordered by Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and the Adriatic Sea to the south, with a coastline about 20 kilometres (12 miles) long surrounding the town of Neum, this place is in news.  The  country has a rich history, having been first settled by the Slavic peoples that populate the area today from the 6th through to the 9th centuries. In the 12th century the Banate of Bosnia was established, which evolved into the Kingdom of Bosnia in the 14th century, after which it was annexed into the Ottoman Empire, under whose rule it remained from the mid-15th to the late 19th centuries.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is known for its natural environment and cultural heritage inherited from six historical civilizations, its cuisine, winter sports, its eclectic and unique music, architecture and its festivals, some of which are the largest and most prominent of their kind in Southeastern Europe. A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is identified in English as a Bosnian. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group.

It is not exactly a peaceful haven ~ more than 2 decades after the end of the war in Bosnia, the country is still contaminated with landmines and cluster bombs causing fatal accidents. The Swiss government and the Swiss foundation “World without Mines” (WoM) has supported the war-ravaged country in its fight against this vicious legacy of war for years.  At  the Global Training Centre for Mine Detection Dogs in Blagovac, in rural Bosnia, about 10 kilometres north of the capital Sarajevo there are more than 50 dogs, states on report – not ordinary street dogs, but ones more  efficient than humans, more precise than drones.  It is claimed that  dogs are much more efficient than humans when it comes to finding explosive devices. “While a minesweeper with a metal detector can only search an area of 35m2 per day, a dog covers between 400m2 and 600m2.”

Mailonline and frontline medias report that more than 2,000  honoured a dead Croatian general who drank cyanide at the Hague after he was convicted of carrying out war crimes in Bosnia. Huge crowds packed a public memorial in Zagreb for the service to remember war criminal Slobodan Praljak whose final act was to kill himself in front of UN judges. Public buses ran free of charge to the ceremony for the wartime military commander, who swallowed potassium cyanide last month during a court hearing broadcast live around the world.

Praljak had a private funeral in Zagreb last week, according to media reports. The 72-year-old took his life just seconds after appeal judges in The Hague upheld his 20-year jail sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity during Bosnia's 1990s conflict. The judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia confirmed that Praljak and his five Bosnian Croat co-defendants were part of a 'joint criminal enterprise' to ethnically cleanse Bosnian Muslims in the war. But since Praljak's death, Croats have paid multiple tributes to the late general, laying flowers and lighting candles in town squares in Croatia and Bosnia.

Monday's commemoration, organised by the Croatian generals' association, was attended by at least one government minister in the EU member state, along with top officials of the ruling conservative HDZ party. The event, which lasted around an hour reportedly included music, recitals and speeches by Praljak's associates and friends from the military, politics and theatre.  The 72-year-old took his life just seconds after appeal judges in The Hague upheld his 20-year jail sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity during Bosnia's 1990s conflict. The commemoration ended with a rendition of the Croatian national anthem led by a choir. The crowd, some of whom had travelled from Bosnia, stood up and joined the singing. Before the ceremony, visitors queued up to sign two books of condolences. So .. .. .. .. …… …….., !!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

12th Dec 2017.

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