Sunday, March 19, 2006

Milosevic buried in Pozarevac


Milosevic loyalists (FoNeT)
Milosevic loyalists (FoNeT)

BELGRADE -- Saturday - Slobodan Milosevic has been buried in his home town in East Serbia, after tens of thousands of people gathered to bid him a final farewell.

At the beginning of the proceedings, around 80,000 people gathered earlier today in front of the Federal Parliament, where his coffin was displayed.

Socialist Party officials delivered glorifying speeches in front of the Parliament, while many of the gathered shouted "Kosovo is ours".

Others carried photos of Hague fugitives Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, as well as of Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj, who is at the Hague Tribunal awaiting trial. According to police sources, 100,000 people appeared at the ceremony.

Aco Tomic, Security Advisor to Serbian Prime Minister Kostunica, was present, as well as former army general and Hague suspect Dragoljub Ojdanic who is freed pending trial.

Former US attorney general Ramsey Clark, and head of the Russian Communist Party Gennadi Zyuganov were among the speakers.

Radical Party official Aleksandar Vucic read a letter in which his party leader and Hague indictee Vojislav Seselj praised Milosevic.

Police said there were no troubles, despite the fact that Milosevic's opponents organised a rally just a few streets away in the Republic Square which drew around 3,000 people.

Milosevic's funeral ceremony was subsequently held at 5.30 pm today in his home town of Pozarevac in East Serbia. He was buried under a linden tree in the backyard of his family house.

Milosevic's son Marko and wife Mirjana Markovic, who live in self-imposed exile in Moscow, decided not to attend the funeral because they "feared arrest or worse".

Milosevic's daughter, Marija, missed the funeral too. She said that she would demand exhumation of her father's body for "a proper burial" in Montenegro, where she now lives and where her father's parents are buried.

During the past two days, Miloevic's body was on display in the decayed Museum of Revolution after days of pressure by remaining loyalists for a high-profile funeral in Belgrade.

Slobodan Milosevic was found dead on March 11 in his cell at the United Nations detention unit in the Hague. The autopsy found that he died of heart attack and the toxicology analysis of blood wield no results that could be considered as evidence of a poisoning.

Draskovic: a people's funeral

Serbia and Montenegro Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic described the rally as "a people's funeral".

"All of the Belgrade squares would be too narrow to host those killed, crippled, displaced during his rule," Draskovic said. B92

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