September 15, 1996 Vreme News Digest Agency No 258

In Memoriam

Dragisa Pavlovic

Dragisa Pavlovic, a former |Serbian Communist party official, died in Belgrade on September 9. Nine years ago, on September 11, 1987, he spoke the words that marked the end of his political career but provided him with the satisfaction of being among the first to warn of the coming crisis."The overall situation in Kosovo, which is not improving at the desired and easily-promised speed, is creating a dangerous mood in which every word spoken against Serbian nationalism is seen as a concession towards that nationalism. Passionate words can only bring fire... The hands of Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo are already turning from applause to fists and that is the edge over which everything

is being dragged into tragic developments. Who needs blood for an imagined solution?"

He was accused of many things but he himself said, "they understand me too well." They understood that he was alluding to Slobodan Milosevic's speech in Kosovo Polje and got rid of Pavlovic on September 23-24 at the eighth session of the Serbian CP.

His dismissal involved the ruthlessness characteristic of party purges with Pavlovic showing a dignified restraint. The angry words against him only served to spur the mood of hysteria he warned of. And while the crisis spread, his opponents thrived. He retired from politics after a final party execution on February 4, 1988 when the Belgrade city committee dismissed him from his posts and the party due to "serious political mistakes and unprincipled behavior". He went into business and refrained form any comment but he did not seem happy to see his predictions come true.

Pavlovic was born in Kragujevac in 1943 and was a popular figure in his home town. He graduated from the university's schools of engineering and economics, obtained a B.A. in 1979 and a doctorate in political sciences in 1982.

His political career began in the early 1980s when he moved to Belgrade and became a close associate of then Serbian President Ivan Stambolic.

The end of his political career was also the end of his career as a university professor and he then went on to work for SMELT Ljubljana and later set up the Hermes car rental agency.

Pavlovic did not share the views of national ideologists who relied on myths and fear of the future. He believed that the party should debate with its opponents in print. He tried to debate with Dobrica Cosic over his fear of "an explosive technological advancement".

Pavlovic was a player in and victim of efforts to change the system from within, to modernize Serbia and develop it technologically and combat the growing destruction.

Strikes

Over 5,000 high school students in Pancevo still have not started the school year because their teachers are persisting with their demands to get their July and August salaries.

Teachers disregarded friendly criticism from the authorities who reminded them of the law and the fact that there are people who are worse off than they are and have not gone on strike.

School principals were called in for talks with the deputy education minister while spokesmen for the striking teachers met with the Mayor but they view him with skepticism because they think he cannot release the needed funds.

AIDS

Yugoslavia has registered a total of 514 AIDS cases to date with 71 of them having already been killed by the disease. Those figures were published by Dragan Ilic, director of the student polyclinic and chairman of the Yugoslav Association to Combat AIDS.

Residents of Belgrade account for 7% of the cases and the most frequent manner of contracting the disease is intravenously but 34 students contracted AIDS through sexual relations.

Serbian Deputy Health Minister Zoran Kovacevic said recently that Yugoslav experts are on the way to being the first to discover a cure. Research by the Health Ministry and the Vinca institute show that "we are on the verge of a breakthrough".

Elections

Dragutin Ilic, candidate for the RS parliament, called voters gathered at a September 8 pre-election rally in Brcko to vote against the people who "humiliated them and ruled irresponsibly". The crowd responded fiercely in support of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS), Karadzic and Mladic. Ilic shouted back: "Long live honest members of the SDS" but added that the Bosnian Serb state cannot survive without Serbia and FR Yugoslavia drawing more discontent from the crowd.

A FoNet report said Mladen Ivanic, a non-party candidate on the list of candidates for the League For Peace and Progress and Democratic Patriot Block, calmed the crowd by saying: "Don't let them split us up" after saying "there are no traitors among the Serb people in this country".