Letter: Bosnia - British stance; reactions to the camps; methods of military intervention; 'ethnic cleansing'

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Sir: The perversity of John Kennedy and M. Gavrilovic's reactions (Letters, 5 & 6 August) to Rebecca Tinsley's letter of 3 August will be evident to most people, but, for the record, may I make the following points?

1. European Community and United States policies were initially to preserve Yugoslavia. They were changed by force of events and the decent opinions of people like Ms Tinsley.

2. Recognition of Bosnia may have helped to catalyse the conflict. It did not cause it: paranoid Serbian instransigence and aggression did.

3. Switzerland fares quite happily as a multi-ethnic state, despite the high preponderance of one group and the existence of Paris, Rome and Bonn. Given a chance, Bosnia, which anyway has, or had, a perfectly good and ancient multi-ethnic and multicultural capital of its own, might have done the same.

Yours faithfully,


London, SW1

6 August