Petition Demands Serbian UN President’s Firing

Campaigners launched an online petition to dismiss Vuk Jeremic, the President of the UN General Assembly, after a Serb nationalist song was performed at the UN.”Vuk Jeremic should be removed so he cannot use UN platform to spread hate,” reads the petition, which so far has more than 3,500 supporters.

The campaign was launched after a Serb nationalistic song, “March on the Drina”, was performed at a concert honouring Serbia’s presidency of the U.N. General Assembly on January 14.

The petition accuses Jeremic of organising the controversial airing of the song that was originally written as a nationalist hymn after World War I and was reportedly played during Serb attacks on Bosnian towns along the Drina River during the war in the 1990s.

“The concert is a scandalous insult to the thousands of innocent victims of genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the petition added, referring to the slaughter of thousands of Bosniak men and boys by Bosnian Serbs in the town of Srebrenica in 1995.

A joint letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon from the Congress of North American Bosniaks, the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bosnian-American Genocide Institute from the US and the Institute for the Research of Genocide from Canada, also said the song was offensive to Bosnian war victims.

On Thursday, Ban Ki-moon expressed regret over the rendition of the Serbian song.

However, the Serbian Institute, a Washington-based think tank, sent a letter to the UN on behalf of Serbian-Americans saying that the song was not intended to be offensive.

“Please be assured that the song ‘Mars na Drinu’ [‘March on the Drina’] is viewed by every individual of Serbian descent as a poignant musical symbol of how the Serbian people too have made great sacrifices in history to support freedom and therefore stand proudly alongside other nations at the United Nations,” Danielle Sremac, the head of the institute, said in the letter.

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