In Pozarevac, Serbia on Monday, September 11th, more than 1,000 people gathered at the grave of Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian and Yugoslav president, to pay tribute six months after his death according to the rites of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Milosevic died in a cell of the detention centre of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague on 11 March during his trial.

BBC Monitoring International Reports - September 8, 2006 Friday

Text of report by Serbian independent news agency FoNet

Belgrade, 8 September: Academic Mihajlo Markovic, one of the founders of the Socialist Party of Serbia [SPS] today assessed that Serbia was "free and honourable" during the time of [former Serbian and Yugoslav President] Slobodan Milosevic while it was now a semi-colony "whose government is a vassal government with each ministry populated by foreign intelligence officers and experts who now sit there drafting bills and passing undesirable decisions".

During a presentation of the book of documents on the funeral of Slobodan Milosevic published by the "Sloboda" Association under the title "Slobodan means to be free [pun]", Markovic asked if ever in the history of Serbia some of its authorities had behaved in "such an irrational and irresponsible manner".

"The Serb people knew what they had lost when in Belgrade and Pozarevac they staged a magnificent farewell to the slain president, while those who had killed him turned him into a legend who would never be forgotten," he noted.

According to Markovic, during the time of the Milosevic administration, Serbia was "a military power", while now the soldier who shot down the US stealth plane during the NATO bombing "was thrown out of the military and proceedings are being conducted against him over some alleged offence".

Markovic emphasized that "in allegedly authoritarian times" each citizen had an opposition paper of his or her own, they had various radio and a television stations, whereas these days "only those in possession of capital own and possess the media, and this cannot be called opposition".

He assessed that with the death of Milosevic, the epoch started on 27 March 1941 [military coup against Yugoslav authorities who signed Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany on 25 Mar 1941] during which the Serb people were free had ended, while now this people lived "in servility towards the new world order".

Leaflets saying "Slobo is alive, he is not dead, as long as Serbs and Serbia live" were distributed during the promotion.

Source: FoNet news agency, Belgrade, in Serbian 1321 gmt 8 Sep 06

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