Letter: No Christian virtue in Serbian acts

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Sir: President Dobrica Cosic (22 April) urges consistent compliance with the rights of all peoples to self- determination and statehood. Until he and his rump Yugoslavia show willingness to comply with those rights in Kosovo, the case that he tries to argue for Serbia cannot fail to be seen as hollow.

He complains the Vance-Owen plan leaves 40 per cent of Bosnia's Serbs under Muslim and Croatian rule. In Kosovo, a population that is more than 90 per cent Albanian languishes under Serbian rule, deprived of elementary human rights, stripped of the autonomy enjoyed under Tito, and suffering what amounts to a harsh occupation regime imposed by Serbian armed forces, Serbian police and Serbian irregulars.

Of President Cosic and his fellow Serbs, who claim it as a virtue to be Christian and not Muslim, it can truly be asked: 'Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam in thine own eye?'

Those of us who stand for respect of frontiers and for well-developed human rights regimes within them would wish those principles to apply in favour of Serbia and Serbs as well as in favour of their neighbours. Unfortunately, Serbian practice ignores them and seeks only a Serbian 'final' solution.

Yours faithfully,




23 April