Today (11/08/2005) are stories of Milan Lukic, one time warlord in the town of Visegrad on the river Drina in Bosnia. I am familiar with another Visegrad on the Czech-Hungarian border overlooking the Danube before it bends toward Budapest. It’s not that far away and it too is extremly beautiful.
What happened in Bosnian Visegrad in 1992 is far from beautiful. Visegrad has one of the ancient bridges familiar on post cards from those who holidayed in the former Yugoslavia. This was the scene of a massacre of Muslim men, women children, thrown from the bridge shot or alive. There was a complaint from lower down the river that bodies were clogging up the dam.
Elsewhere in the town women and girls were raped, and imprisoned in houses which were then torched. While the name Srebrenica is now well-known, Visegrad and other towns in the region are also scenes of the “ethnic cleansing” atrocities.
The name most associated with this, third only to Karadzic and Mladic, still on the run, was Milan Lukic. He was traced and arrested in Argentina this week.
The way the members of the British Government are conducting community relations in Britain one wonders how short their memories are. They want to silence Muslim voices, but they could be the cries of victims of violence and hatred against the Muslim community. Have there been any attempts to silence the BNP and their poisonous outporings? When they organise their marches, as the Orange Order in Northern Ireland, the police are drafted in to “ensure the preservation of free speech”.
It seems a difficult lesson to learn given the certainty that the British “are a tolerant nation” with a culture that all others wishing to live here must adopt. The Ann Frank Exhibition was at pains to point out that what happened in Germany was not a specifically German characteristic. Perpetrator and victim could be any one of us.
The climate presently being whipped up by sections of the press, fed by Government pronouncements, leads in totally the wrong direction. An eyewitness who lived in Visegrad says that the Muslim and Christian communities lived side by side for years. No one knew or cared much who was which. How quickly this can change when men like Lukic appeared on the scene.