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IGC objects to Dodik’s lecture at Columbia University

 

Protest Letter to Columbia University

John H. Coatsworth, Ph.D

Dean, School of International and Public Affairs

Columbia University

14th floor, MC 3328

New York, NY 10027

 

Timothy Frye , Ph.D.

Director, The Harriman Institute

Marshall D. Shulman Professor of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy

Columbia University

 

Dear Dr. Coatsworth and Dr. Frye:

We are writing to you on behalf of 300,000 Bosnian Americans and 50,000 Bosnian Canadians to protest the planned event organized by The Harriman Institute and  SIPA on October 25, 2011, featuring Milorad Dodik, the current President of Republika Srpska (RS).

Milorad Dodik is a genocide denier and tirelessly promotes ethnic division within Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). In April of 2010, Mr. Dodik gave an interview to the Belgrade newspaper “Vecernje Novosti” openly stating that “Bosnian Serbs will never accept that the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of some 8,000 Muslims was genocide.” Mr. Dodik went further to say that “We cannot and will never accept qualifying that event as genocide.” By denying genocide, Mr. Dodik is actively working against the peace and reconciliation process within BiH. Both the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) have ruled that what happened in Srebrenica was genocide. In addition, the U.S. Congress passed H.R.199, which defined the crime as genocide.

Dodik’s morally reprehensible rhetoric on Srebrenica and his obstructionist attitude towards Bosnia as a unified state threatens the peace, stability and prosperity of not only BiH but also Southeast Europe. Dodik actively supports the defense of Ratko Mladic, the indicted war criminal currently standing trial at The Hague for the Siege of Sarajevo and the genocide in Srebrenica.

Dodik actively encourages a lack of accountability for war crimes committed by the Serbs during the aggression on BiH in the early 1990′s. Furthermore, Dodik has worked to undermine the authority and proper functioning of national intuitions, including the BiH state court system responsible for war crimes prosecution. Mr. Dodik continues to menace the country with the possibility of an illegal secession by the RS, the consequence of which includes the possibility of renewed violence in a society still deeply traumatized by war.

Ultimately, the same parties under Dodik’s leadership within the Republika Srpska who were responsible for the deliberate destruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and who were then rewarded in the Dayton Agreement with territorial and political concessions gained through genocidal violence, are now actively working to impair the reintegration of the country as a unified, sovereign state.

We strongly object to Columbia University providing a platform of legitimacy to Milorad Dodik and urge that his invitation be withdrawn.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Haris Alibasic, MPA, President

The Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB)

www.bosniak.org

 

Ajla Delkic

Executive Director

Bosniak American Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BAACBH)

www.baacbh.org

 

Prof. Emir Ramić, Chairman

Institute for the Research of Genocide, Canada (IRGC)

http://www.instituteforgenocide.ca/

 

Sanja Seferovic-Drnovsek J.D, MEd, Chair

Bosnian American Genocide Institute and Education Center

www.baginst.org

 

 

Protest letter to SNR Denton

Elliot I. Portnoy, Chief Executive

SNR Denton

1301 K Street, N.W.

Suite 600, East Tower

Washington, DC  20005-3364

 

Dear Mr. Portnoy,

We are writing to you on behalf of 300,000 Bosnian Americans and 50,000 Bosnian Canadians that we represent to protest the planned event on October 21, 2011 showcasing Milorad Dodik,  the current president of the smaller of two entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is known for creating negative publicity in and around Bosnia and Herzegovina, and most notably as an open denier of genocide committed by Serbian and Bosnian Serb forces against Bosniaks during the war and aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Milorad Dodik threatens the peace, stability and economic prosperity of the entire Balkans region by purposely undermining Bosnian state authorities and threatening “secession” whenever it suits him politically. The Republika Srpska entity was created by the Dayton agreement through war time policies of genocide and ethnic cleansing while under the leadership of the now imprisoned war criminal Radovan Karadzic. Milorad Dodik’s rhetoric of genocide denial and obstructionism is very similar to Karadzic and remains a threat to long term peace and stability.

Milorad Dodik repeatedly denies genocide against the Bosnian people and said in an April, 2010 interview for a Belgrade newspaper “Bosnian Serbs will never accept that the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of some 8,000 Muslims was genocide.” Furthermore, he added that “We cannot and will never accept qualifying that event as genocide.” By denying genocide, Dodik is effectively blocking all attempts at peace and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. The Srebrenica massacre has been ruled as genocide by two international courts — the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at The Hague (ICTY). In 2005,the United States congress passed the House resolution 199 recognizing the Srebrenica genocide and demanding that war criminals be brought to justice.

Your company’s social responsibility statement reads that you “are committed to operating in a manner that promotes the business goals of our clients while advancing workplace diversity, environmental sustainability and the well-being of the communities in which we work and live.” By allowing a genocide denier to promote his agenda in a public forum sponsored by your company, you are causing an incomprehensible anguish to thousands of Americans of Bosnian decent who lost thousands of loved ones through a campaign of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and torture.

We sincerely hope you will listen to our serious concerns and look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,

Haris Alibasic, MPA, President

The Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB)

www.bosniak.org

 

Prof. Emir Ramić, Chairman

Institute for the Research of Genocide, Canada (IRGC)

http://www.instituteforgenocide.ca/

 

Sanja Seferovic-Drnovsek J.D, MEd, Chair

Bosnian American Genocide Institute and Education Center

www.baginst.org

 

cc: Elyse Blazey, Public Relations Manager, SNR Denton

cc: Frederick D. McClure, Partner, Washington office, SNR Denton

cc: Caryn L. Chalmers, Partner, Chicago office, SNR Denton