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Monday, April 5, 1999 Published at 19:17 GMT 20:17 UK


Serb TV highlights anti-Nato protests

Serbs are staging daily protests against the Nato strikes in Belgrade

Serbian television continues to devote a great deal of airtime to covering protests and demonstrations against Nato, in Yugoslavia and beyond.

Kosovo: Special Report
The pattern continued on Sunday, with television clips of an open-air pop music concert in central Belgrade.

The stage acts played popular Serbian songs, even a Serbo-Croat version of the Motown classic "Reach Out, I'll be There", while demonstrators waved placards, some in English.

"Nato invented humanitarian bombs for Yugoslavia," said one. Another banner mutated the famous red and white Coca-Cola logo into "Nato-Cola".

In a more bizarre twist, one English-language banner read: "Lady Di, get up please, look: Tony Blair spreads mines, bombs."

School children protests

Similarly, protesters in Leskovac were shown listening to live music, and waving banners and placards. "I don't want to run for cover, I want to run to school," said one.


Serb TV news report (dubbed into English): Refugees are "fleeing from Nato bombing and Albanian separatists."
State-run TV also broadcast footage of singing schoolchildren in Banja Luka, in the Bosnian Serb Republic. Each child wore a paper symbol of a target around his or her neck, as they sang: "We are for peace, let light shine all over the planet".

State television has also continued to broadcast regular English-language news bulletins.

One item, shown in the early hours of Sunday, repeated footage of the blaze which followed the Nato cruise missile strike on the Interior Ministry headquarters in Belgrade on Friday-Saturday night.

Mothers and babies from a nearby maternity unit were shown taking refuge in an air raid shelter.

Nato condemnation

As well as chronicling the latest strikes, the breakfast television programme featured patriotic statements by Yugoslav volleyball players.

The state-run media is continuing its outright condemnation of Nato in the wake of the alliance strikes which pounded Belgrade for a second night on Saturday and Sunday.

"On the 10th night of the aggression against our fatherland, the criminal, Nazi, US terrorist organisation has again showed its true face: the face of a murderer, monster and cannibal," Serbian radio said.

"Let us preserve our presence of mind and dignity, just as we have done over recent days. Let us not allow the criminals to triumph over us and enslave us," it added.

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.



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