Nobel Peace Prize
December 10, 2010 by staff
Nobel Peace Prize, Amid a bitter storm of controversy, the Serbian government decided at the last moment to send its representative to attend the Chinese dissident Liu Xiao Bo Nobel Peace ceremony in Oslo on Friday.
The government said in a statement Thursday night that he had asked the Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic attend the ceremony, following criticism from officials of the European Union and Serbia NGOs.
Jankovic said it was too late to organize a regular trip to Oslo, so the government has a special plane at his disposal.
Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic told B92 television in Belgrade on Wednesday to boycott the ceremony decision was made “in the best interest of the country,” not to offend the Chinese.
“China is a proven friend of Serbia and the most difficult moments, she gave us unconditional support,” said Jeremic. He was referring to the fact that, outside of Russia, China was the only permanent member of UN Security who opposed the independence of Kosovo, proclaimed by the Albanian majority in February 2008.
Jeremic said that the government has decided to boycott the ceremony after careful consideration, while Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said that it was a “tactic” to strengthen Serbia’s candidacy to the European Union.
Belgrade daily newspaper said President Boris Tadic was furious because Jeremic made the decision himself, without consulting the government or the president. He allegedly ordered Cvetkovic reverse the decision.
Harvard-educated Jeremic, 35, was handpicked by Tadic, Minister of Foreign Affairs, because he knew him as a brilliant student in high school where Tadic was his professor of psychology. But he was criticized by Western diplomats new to have encouraged a hard line against the independence of Kosovo, which has been recognized by the United States and 22 EU members.
Serbian media sites were flooded Friday with comments from readers criticizing the government’s incompetence. “If I were Chinese, I would immediately break relations with this country stupid,” said one commentator.
A reader said he was feeling sick to the disorientation of the government, while most readers called the reversal “tragicomic.” “Serbia is a vassal state, worse than any banana republic, there is no end to his humiliation,” said another commentator.
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