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Monday, May 21, 2018

SRDJA-HEART - Scottish University defends appointment

Meet the logistical mastermind behind Macedonia’s “Colour Revolution” - so called Serb “anti nationalist activist” Srdja Popovic, founder of Otpor/Canvas.  In one of history’s incredible twists of irony the man who brought down the Milosevic regime in Serbia in 2000 completed in Macedonia what Milosevic had tried and failed - overturning a government and destabilising Macedonia and placing it on the path to national suicide - but this time around for the strategic needs of the West and its Greek, Bulgar and Albanian allies. 





SCOTTISH UNIVERSITY DEFENDS CONTROVERSIAL SRDJA POPOVIC APPOINTMENT

by Sasha Uzunov

St Andrews, Scotland’s oldest university, the place where future British King William met his bride, has defended its choice of controversial Serb activist Srdja Popovic as Rector. The student body which elected him has remained silent as yet, leaving it to management to respond.

The position of Rector as outlined by the University’s website to "preside at meetings of the University Court — the highest governing body of the University. The Court exists to oversee the management of the University...” and is elected by the Student Body.

Mr Niall Scott, a spokesman for St Andrews, issued the following statement to TEAM UZUNOV blog:

"Thank you for your media inquiry about the Rector of the University of St Andrews, Mr Srjda Popovic.

"As you know, the Rector is appointed by students to represent them. The Rector is chosen by students in a democratic vote carried out to the highest standards of electoral practice.

"The University itself plays no part in the election of the Rector, and that is as it should be, to preserve the independence of the role.

"As such, the University can make no comment on your allegations. I can only observe that Mr Popovic appears to be a very popular choice with students, is hard working, highly capable and involving himself with issues which are important to our student body.

Our students themselves may however wish to debate your specific points with you...”

The President of the Students’ Association Mr Lewis Wood has not as yet responded.

TEAM UZUNOV has tried to contact Mr Popovic at his private email address and the Canvas office in Belgrade, Serbia but has never received a response from the elusive activist.

The questions posed to St Andrew were as follows: 

St Andrew's University students voted to appoint the controversial Serb activist Srdja Popovic, the founder of NGO Canvas, as the Rector.

1. Is the University aware, that despite Mr Popovic's public image of anti nationalist and democracy advocate, he holds ultra Serb nationalist views?

- Mr Popovic was found to have lobbied secretly to reverse the Maldives recognition of Kosovo's independence.

Link here:
www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/maldives-parliament-launches-kosovo-probe

- Mr Popovic sent Serb activists from Canvas into Macedonia who took part in vandalising Macedonian monuments under the pretext of “anti nationalism” and "anti corruption" but interestingly the Serb Embassy in Macedonia was not touched. Some Macedonians saw this behaviour as thinly disguised Serb racism against Macedonians who were the victims of Serb colonial rule from 1912 to 1941.

Mr Popovic and his activists have never held any protests against Serbia's Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic who holds openly racist views towards Macedonians. Link:

http://teamuzunovmedia.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/blank-cultural-canvas-to-write-upon.html?m=1

2. Therefore, is it appropriate for Mr Popovic to be the Rector of St Andrews University considering his Serb nationalist views and actions?


WHO IS SRDJA POPOVIC AND WHAT IS CANVAS? 
- Genuine anti-nationalist or political opportunist? The company you keep tells a lot about you?

Popovic founded OTPOR (Resistance) - now known as Canvas:

A Serbian “Internationalist” group, NGO, which in 2000 brought down the Slobodan Milosevic regime in Serbia. Milosevic pushed for a Greater Serbia, a concept that was anti Macedonian, Croat, Albanian, Bosnian.

According to this hagiography of Popovic run in The Guardian newspaper: "Popovic and his friends started, and the group that by 1998 it grew into, Otpor! (translation: Resistance!) inspired a mass, non-violent movement. They finally saw off the repression and horror of Milosevic, who at the end could not even make it to the final round of the elections he called in September 2000.

"Since then, Popovic and his friends have been in some demand. The Centre for Applied Non-violent Action and Strategies or Canvas, an independent, five-man, Belgrade-based NGO he founded with a handful of other Otpor! members in 2003, has now advised and trained pro-democracy activists in more than 50 countries, including India, Iran, Zimbabwe, Burma, Ukraine, Georgia, Palestine, Belarus, Tunisia and Egypt

"The journey, he acknowledges, has not always been straightforward. The second son of a fearless 70s TV reporter father and a glamorous TV presenter mother, he says there was “nothing in my childhood to suggest I was any kind of rebel. I wanted to make animal documentaries. David Attenborough … Thirty years after I first saw him, I can still hear his voice.”

"But when you grew up in liberal, free-thinking, even pretty damn cool Tito-era Yugoslavia, in “a certain system of values, and they are just stamped on … Not just the ugly bully-boys running around everywhere in really uncool uniforms, but the worst kind of nationalist folk culture all over TV, the insane hate speech … Croats were our brothers, you know? And suddenly we were being told to kill them; it’s like you being told it’s your patriotic duty to shoot Scots. Well, you change.””

ALARM BELLS - Yugoslavia was a one party state with a very bad human rights record-
You’ll notice in Popovic’s hagiography his nostalgia and whitewash of “better times” in Yugoslavia.

1988-89: HELSINKI Watch Committee and Amnesty International Reports:

The 4 countries in Europe known to have significant numbers of political prisoners:
- Yugoslavia,
- Turkey
- Romania
- German Democratic Republic (East Germany).

Yugoslavia & Turkey have the greatest known number of political prisoners in Europe. see Link: 

Here is an Australian Foreign Affairs report from 1989 - link - page 22.


STRANGE BEDFELLOWS- Romantic nationalists, revolutionaries and religious reactionaries:

Self-proclaimed “Romantic ultra Serb nationalist” Vojislav Kostunica linked up with OTPOR and the Serbian Orthodox Church (which doesn’t recognise the Macedonian Church) to take down Milosevic. see link here 

Popovic was a close confidante of Serb Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, assassinated in 2003 as payback for his role in bringing down Milosevic.

Djindjic, a political opportunist, went from Serb internationalist to nationalist, cynically became a one time supporter of Bosnian Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic, and then back to being a non nationalist. Djindjic has been turned into pro West martyr though the truth might be that he was a cynical political chameleon. see link here

PARADOX? ENIGMA? Popovic has been banned from entering Russia and accused of being a “puppet” of the West. see link here 

But his views and actions remain contradictory. On the one hand presenting himself as an anti nationalist activist but caught secretly lobbying on behalf of Serbia to have international recognition of Kosovo revoked; and sending in “advisors” into Macedonia to kick start the Colour Revolution and its vandalising of monuments.

Popovic: “If bringing up facts in favour of the country you love is called lobbying, then I admit that I have lobbied.”  “A former student leader and former official in Serbia’s government, has confirmed that he spoke to Maldives authorities regarding Kosovo’s recognition.” link here

He has largely remained silent over Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic’s racist views towards Macedonians, including defending Serbia’s brutal colonial rule in Macedonia (1911-41). see links here and here and here




BERTRAND RUSSELL’S ADAGE - activist fatigue? Is Popovic a political opportunist posing as an “anti nationalist” and democracy activist?

“Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power.” - Bertrand Russell, Nobel Prize winning British philosopher.

Russell’s view has struck a chord with many becoming sceptical of self appointed activists. A kind of activist fatigue has come about. Burmese /Myanmar ruler Aung San Suu Kyi managed to fool the West into believing she was a democracy activist who campaigned against the authoritarian military junta which has ruled her country for decades. But she been uncovered as a chauvinist who hates the Rohingya people. see link here

THE AUNG SAN SUU KYI SHTICK?


The Colour Revolution in Macedonia:
STRANGE ANTI-CORRUPTION / ANTI NATIONALIST ACTIVISM? 


Then pro Gruevski Macedonian government tabloid ran with the headline: “Serb activists at the forefront of protests in Skopje.” A later map of Canvas activities confirmed its “involvement” in Macedonia.


In 2016 Serb activists from Canvas crossed the border into Macedonia to “assist” local activists in what became known as the Colour Revolution - a movement protesting against wide spread corruption and “nationalism” of the then Macedonian government led by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who later stepped down.

But it was an odd movement to begin with - World War II Albanian Nazi collaborator statues built in recent times by the Albanian political bloc were not touched; the Serb Embassy in Macedonia was not touched. But only Macedonian monuments were targeted. Corruption involving ethnic Albanian politicians connected to Gruevski were not touched nor were Serb politicians.



A protest in 2016 was held in Skopje against a visiting Croatian Member of the European Parliament, Marijana Petir, for endorsing Gruevski but not against then Serb Prime Minister Alexander Vucic who according to ex-Serb Foreign Minister Vuk “the Wolfman” Jeremic labelled Gruevski as Vucic’s evil twin. (see below for full story)

Petir’s real “crime” was she was a Croat and a critic of Greece. see link here and here 

Canvas’s website has a map listing its campaigns- and Macedonia is listed, confirming that it had a large footprint in the vandalising of Macedonian monuments.

The Colour Revolution brought “regime change” to Macedonia - with Gruevski gone and Zoran Zaev of SDSM, the Macedonian Social Democrats, coming to power at the end of 2016 and in 2017 the controversial election of a new Parliamentary Speaker, Talat Xhaferi, in a rushed and some would say illegal manner. Prime Minister Zaev has been willing to go along with name change of Macedonia  - a key Greek demand - under the pretext that Macedonia needs to get into NATO and the EU to ward off “Russian interference”- and to do so it has to accept Greek and Bulgarian nationalist demands - in effect extortion. see links here and here - And in doing so both Athens and Sofia would lift their opposition to Macedonia joining both organisations. To put it bluntly, Macedonia commenting national suicide ! - more on Macedonia, Greece, name change and US foreign policy at this link here

REGIME CHANGE OR NAME CHANGE - END GAME? 

If regime change in Macedonia was motivated by “anti corruption” and “anti nationalism” then why have there been no protests about Albanian Nazi collaborator statues in Macedonia built by the Albanian political bloc over the last decade? After all there are no Nazi statues in Germany, the birthplace of Nazism. see links here and here 

If the motivation was “anti corruption” then why no protests about ethnic Albanian leader, and ex terrorist Ali Ahmeti’s (pictured left) cosy relationship with Nikola Gruevski? Ahmeti who led the Kosovo Liberation Army’s local offshoot in Macedonia, the National Liberation Army (NLA or UCK) started a war in Macedonia in 2001 with the US deliberately turning a blind eye - see link here. Ahmeti’s political party DUI (or BDI) is now a coalition partner in the Zaev government.

Or for that matter why were there no protests against the long standing criminal underworld created in the early 1990s during UN sanctions busting and smuggling in Macedonia for the then Slobodan Milosevic regime until the cessation of hostilities in 1994-95 with the Dayton Agreement? Not one protest has ever been held outside the Serb Embassy in Macedonia over Serbian nationalism by Macedonian and local Serb “anti nationalists” not even when the US Embassy was attacked in 1999 by Serb extremists linked to the Milosevic regime.



FURTHER CLUES - Popovic’s Canvas provided the “logistical support ” and training for Macedonia’s Colour Revolution as well as sending “advisors” across the border to “assist.” That’s something that Slobodan Milosevic had tried and failed to do, to foment instability in Macedonia.

The failed 1995 assassination attempt on Macedonia’s President Kiro Gligorov was said to be the result of Serb-Greek collusion. see link - But Milosevic’s motivation, if behind Gligorov’s attempted demise, was due to Serb nationalism. But we have to ask this time around who cynically used Serbian cultural hegemony in Macedonia to bring regime change? The evidence points to the West.

LETTING THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG?


Bogoevski’s admission of not protesting against Alexander Vucic - see link

One of the leading figures in the Colour Revolution in Macedonia, and becoming the poster boy, was Pavle Bogoevski, a local Serb and an “anti nationalist” activist in Macedonia. Serbia’s bombastic Foreign Minister, Ivica Dacic, who has a penchant for making racist insults about Macedonians, Papua New Guineans, Montenegrins, Croats as well after dinner singer, I kid you not, falsely accused Bogoevski of taking part in protests in Belgrade against Serb President elect Alexander Vucic, a close intimate of Nikola Gruevski.



Bogoevski’s surprising reaction was to admit that he did not take part in the protests and emphasised his Serbian background. His statement struck many Macedonians as highly contradictory for here was a man who shouted from the rooftops as he vandalised Macedonian monuments that he was an ‘anti nationalist.” The revelation left many Macedonians feeling that Bogoevski’s motivation was more to do with racism and political opportunism in attacking Macedonian statues - and conveniently and cynically supported by the West.

SELECTIVE HOMOPHOBIA?




Bogoevski also doubles up as an LGBT activist in Macedonia but in 2014 the Head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Patriarch Irinej (pictured above), made a totally bizarre claim - blaming the “sins” of gay people for causing the massive floods that hit the Balkans region, including Serbia. see link here

“Patriarch Irinej, who leads the church in Serbia, reportedly said the floods were “divine punishment for [LGBT people’s] vices” and that “God is thus washing Serbia of its sins.” - link here

Bogoevski  and other any Macedonian LGBT activist did not hold any protest outside the office of the Serbian Orthodox Church’s controversial Macedonian “representative’ the Bishop John (Jovan) aka Zoran Vraniskovski.

The hollowness of the Colour Revolution and Canvas?
SANCTIONS AGAINST IVANOV BUT NOT VUCIC, “GRUEVSKI’S EVIL TWIN?’


link to story here

Ivana Jordanovska, Macedonian “anti nationalist” giving Alexander Vucic a free pass but not George Ivanov? 

TEAM UZUNOV: You wrote an article calling for sanctions against Macedonia’s President George Ivanov, I wanted to know do you now call for sanctions against Serbia’s newly elected President Alexander Vucic who was caught interfering in Macedonia’s political system with his diplomat / intelligence officer caught in the parliamentary violence on April 27?

Vucic is one of the most corrupt and authoritarian politicians in Eastern Europe. A protege of Slobodan Milosevic and who in 1995 infamously shouted that for every Serb killed in Bosnia, 100 Muslim Bosnians must be killed. see link here . I don’t recall any Macedonian politician ever saying anything similar or starting a war in 1991.



But there have been no calls for sanctions against Vucic. Do you find this odd? And to reiterate will you be calling for sanctions against him?

Ivana Jordanovska: My personal opinion is that, according to EU regulations and precedents, there is no basis for calling for EU sanctions against President Vučić.

TEAM UZUNOV: Why not? He is far worse than any Macedonian politician?

Ivana Jordanovska: The EU has defined cases and procedures for introducing sanctions, and this is simply not the case with Vučić right now.

If you want the EU to impose sanctions, I believe you have to follow what the EU says...

TEAM UZUNOV: But as an individual you don’t believe Serb nationalism and interference in Macedonia is worthy of condemnation or even a protest?

People protest against all sorts of things, they don't wait on a directive from Brussels?

Ivana Jordanovska: You asked me if I will write to advocate for sanctions against Vučić, the way I did for Ivanov. And that is my answer.

I support the right to freedom of assembly, and if anyone thinks they should protest because of Vučić, that is their right.
----------


Foreign Policy - March 9, 2018 - How Aleksander Vucic became Europe’s favourite autocrat:

"A recent report from the British House of Lords laments that the European Union has chosen “stability over democratic values” in the Western Balkans and expresses “serious concern that gains made towards good governance and the rule of law are in danger of being lost as countries in the region turn to authoritarian leadership.” As ironic as it may be for an unelected institution like the House of Lords to fret over democratic values, the authors of the report have a point: most post-Yugoslav governments have become “stabilitocracies” rather than democracies — and nowhere is this dynamic more evident than in Serbia.” link here

Meta - Macedonian news website - 7 December 2017: 

Quote: “Last week, [ex Serb Foreign Minister] Jeremić stated that the Czech company “Czechoslovak Group” last year in October, through a Belgrade-based firm, SCMG, bought the headquarters of the firm in Krusevac for four million euros, with a direct contract and without public advertisement. He said that under Serbian law, direct purchase agreements are allowed, but only in “special cases”, and “specifically in this case, this year in Macedonia, the dictatorial and deeply corrupt regime of Nikola Gruevski was brought down, the political twin brother of Serbian President, Aleksandar Vučić”. link here

END GAME? NAME CHANGE FOR MACEDONIA? PARTITION?


Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who since coming to power has been “accomodating” in changing Macedonia’s name, identity--on the pretext of the need to join NATO and the EU--in order to overcome Greek opposition over Macedonia’s name. Pictured here with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, the architect of a humiliating Friendship Agreement where Macedonia is forced to change its history and give up its ethnic minority in Bulgaria in return for Bulgar backing for NATO and EU membership. see link here 

Some have even gone so far as calling for a “federation” of Bulgaria and Macedonia... (see link here) the soft partition then the hard partition of Macedonia- some thing of a similar nature “mentioned in passing” by US “expert” Professor Daniel Serwer... in his testimony to the US Congress last year. see link here

US strategic needs at the expense of a unitary Macedonian state? After the fall of the Milosevic regime in Serbia in 2000 and the 2001 Albanian war in Macedonia which permanently implanted the KLA ie DUI and Ali Ahmeti, the US no longer needs a unitary Macedonian state as a buffer against Milosevic, only the territory it occupies. see link here and here 



This explains why US Ambassador Jess Baily (pictured above) has overturned previous key cultural planks in US foreign policy towards Macedonia.  - Washington’s strong opposition to bi-lingualism elevating Albanian to the same level of Macedonian; and not letting loose Serbian cultural hegemony (ie leading figures such as Borjan Jovanovski, Radmila Sekerinska, Pavle Bogoevski, Miroslav Grcev, Branko Geroski , Canvas etc etc) hiding behind “anti nationalism” to attack Macedonian identity. see link here - Now contrast that with a previous and popular US Ambassador Christopher Hill - see link here

BLUNT SELF INTEREST - doing the strategic maths?

Furthermore, with four US bases on Bulgarian soil and Greece being a charter member of NATO, it’s simply easier for the US to lean on Macedonia and to partition it between Kosovo and Bulgaria.


UPDATE - VANDALISING MACEDONIAN MONUMENTS OVER A MERCEDES?




So you had Serb activists from Srdja Popovic’s Belgrade based NGO Canvas cross the border into Macedonia and join the local variety to vandalise Macedonian monuments over the dodgy purchase of a Mercedes? Isn’t that way too excessive and dare I say it racist? You don’t have Macedonian activists cross the border into Serbia to vandalise Serb monuments over corruption...


Ex Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski was found guilty in a Macedonian court and sentenced to 2 years gaol (jail) for corruption, namely the procurement of a luxurious armour plated Mercedes Benz limousine. see link here - (story in Macedonian)


A pundit on Twitter makes a wry observation. 

Serbia doesn't allow its citizens to be extradited to face criminal charges in the Republic of Macedonia.

Just wondering if SJO (Macedonia’s Independent Prosecutors) will seek the extradition of Serb President Alexander Vucic who is alleged to have laundered large sums of money on behalf of Gruevski (see above)

However, it remains highly unlikely that a Foreign Head of State such as Vucic would ever be extradited.

What is strange is local Serb “anti corruption” campaigners in Macedonia Pavle Bogoevski and Borjan Jovanovski have stubbornly refused to protest against Vucic outside the Serb Embassy in Skopje over his alleged criminal links to Gruevski. (see above).

This is very odd. You would think there would be a push to find the full extent of corruption in Macedonia and flush it out completely.



Serb pundit and “anti nationalist” activist in Macedonia Borjan Jovanovski attacking a portrait of Macedonia’s President George Ivanov but paradoxically refuses to protest against fellow compatriot Alexander Vucic and his alleged corruption links to the previous Gruevski government in Macedonia.

In 2015 Jovanovski called for protests to be held at ALL Hungarian embassies in Europe over Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s tough stance on migrants but he has angrily refused to call for protests outside Serb Embassies when in 2016 Serb President Nikolic said the exact same thing as Orban !







DANGEROUS PRECEDENT - THE CANVAS / COLOUR REVOLUTION PRECEDENT

If so called Serb “anti nationalists” from Belgrade can intervene in Macedonia to assist “local activists” over the shifty purchase of a Mercedes Benz limousine or whatever and vandalise Macedonian monuments in the process- couldn’t extremists from Greek and Bulgar Neo Nazi Golden Dawn and Ataka respectively or Albanian extremists from Kosovo also intervene in Macedonia over something they don’t like ? You’re now entering dangerous ground over infringing upon national sovereignty as well as disturbing internal social cohesion....









ORGAN HARVESTING- KOSOVO - Macedonia is a very tolerant society despite the blatant media bias and hype

2010 Council of Europe report: Serbs and Albanians who were perceived to be pro Serb Yugoslavist in Kosovo executed and/or had their organs removed for sale. Despite the deliberate media campaign to portray Macedonians as “extremist” they remain the most tolerant in the Balkans who have suffered massive injustices. They don’t remove people’s organs because they disagree with them !

Compare that to Macedonia and how tolerant it is - pro Serb Yugoslavist Radmila Sekerinska is Defence Minister; Borjan Jovanovski is media pundit etc  They still have their organs intact !

"The NATO intervention had essentially taken the form of an aerial campaign, with bombing in Kosovo and in Serbia – operations thought by some to have infringed international law, as they were not authorised by the UN Security Council – while on the ground NATO’s de facto ally was the KLA. Thus, during the critical period that is the focus of our inquiry, the KLA had effective control over an expansive territorial area, encompassing Kosovo as well as some of the border regions in the north of Albania. KLA control should not be understood as a structured exercise of power, and it was certainly far from assuming the contours of a state. It was in the course of this critical period that numerous crimes were committed both against Serbs who had stayed in the region and against Kosovar Albanians suspected of having been “traitors” or “collaborators”, or who fell victim to internal rivalries within the KLA. These crimes have largely gone unpunished and it is only years later that a rather diffident start has been made in dealing with them.”


Links here and here to organ harvesting in Kosovo







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