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Monday, March 12, 2007

Never forget

Four years ago to this day Serbian prime minister was shot dead in front of the government. I remember him as an extremely intelligent man who knew what he was doing and why; for those of us who started going to anti-Milosevic protests since early teens he was somethign like a family friend, someone you've known for years and who shared important moments with you.
On the day he was shot I was at work, and although a colleague from Belgrade told us there was shooting in front on the government, I somehow thought it was "just" an attempt and everything was fine. I went out to Costa Coffee with a colleague, chatting about this and that, blissfully unaware. When we were back in the newsroom--early afternoon UK time--I looked at the screen and saw "Reuters-Djinjdic-wounded" and news to that effect. At that point you know what's coming--in fact, you know it already happened but the news takes time to leak out; still, I hoped he would make it, he had to make it. But he didn't.
It's not like he was some kind of a Messiah who could miraculously pull Serbia out of crap it's been in for more than a decade; but he was a good man, with a boundless energy, with a heart in the right place, and he didn't deserve to die. He should have lived to enjoy his children, and have grandkids and feed pigeons on the Kalemegdan fortress. And while his assassinators are being tried (in a scandalous trial rigged with obstructions), politicians who gave an approving nod in their directions are still free and still there. Until they, too, are brought to justice--of history, if not judiciary--there's lots of unfinished business in Serbia.

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