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Serbia: Ambassadorial Discontent

While some of the foreign embassies were being set on fire in Belgrade in protest to the unilateral proclamation of independence of Kosovo, Serbian embassies in Belgium and Russia were having diplomatic activities of a different kind – and Serbian bloggers took interest in them.

On Feb. 24, B92 blogger Jelena Milic wrote about a scandalous report by a Russian state TV host Konstantin Syomin about the 2003 murder of prime minister Zoran Dindic:

[…] Today I've read in Kurir the contents of a protest note by the Serbian embassy in Moscow, which, on recommendation by foreign minister Vuk Jeremic, was sent to […] the national television and its editor instead of Russia's government.

Protest note of Serbian embassy:

“Belgrade – yesterday, on request of foreign minister Vuk Jeremic, the Serbian embassy in Russia sent a protest note to the editor of national television “Russia” because of the insulting statements by one of its news hosts, announced Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It says in this protest note that the actions of journalist Konstantin Syomin, who had insulted Zoran Dindic and justified his assassination, are absolutely unacceptable for Serbia.
The note also expressed disappointment because of the comment on the Russian national television, especially at the moment when Serbia was facing the problem with the sovereignty over Kosovo. Serbian embassy demands that “Russia” TV Channel publicly dissociate itself from journalist Syomin and familiarize the Russian public with the contents of the protest note.”

[…]

In Belgium, the Serbian embassy is demanding apologies from a Flemish TV station. Goran Miletic used the incident to discuss double standards in Serbia's treatment of certain issues:

It would be nice to write about president Boris Tadic's statement that hatred, which was followed by ruining of property, aren't part of “the right Serbia.” That, simply, is not true because at least several thousand young people (of 300,000-500,000) threw at least one stone or did something more than that. But the ugly picture that went to the world hurt the majority. It is the same with war crimes. It's not a problem that Serbs had actually commited them […], not a problem how many times and in which way they had commited them, nor is it a problem that we've been hiding war criminals for so many years. The problem is that the ugly picture about it went to the world. In both cases – Yes, we are guilty. That can be the only right message to one's own people.

[…]

Here's what happened in Belgium yesterday:

“The Flemish television (VTA) should send an apology to the Serbian embassy because of the way of it portrayed Serbs in a program about the Eurovision [Song Contest].”

This TV station broadcast two make-belief characters, two Serbian girls named Mirjana and Milena, who were drinking vodka, smoking, looting mobile phones, then hiding them under fur caps. This program provoked protest of Serbian residents in Belgium and an official protest of the Serbian embassy.

[…]

I believe that the majority in Serbia were horrified by this news. However, the same Serbs are not horrified when people are talking in Serbia that Roma are thieves and dirty people, Albanians are always ugly people, separatists and terrorists, gays are people who spread AIDS and ruin the healthy Serbian beings. […]

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