Address by the President of the Republic of Srpska at the central manifestation of marking Sretenje – the Statehood Day of Serbia
Address by the President of the Republic of Srpska Željka Cvijanović at the central manifestation of marking Sretenje – the Statehood Day of Serbia:
Dear Deputy Speakers of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia,
Honored Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia,
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska,
Honorable deputies, ministers, officers and soldiers, representatives of the institutions of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska,
Dear citizens, dear friends,
Ladies and gentlemen, all gathered,
It is a great honor for me to address you today – on the occasion of Sretenje, and at this place, where Serbia resurrected in 1804, lit the torch of freedom and went through the final liberation.
That Sretenje is an important date in Serbian history shows not only the beginning of the First Serbian Uprising, but also that later on in 1835 on that day the first democratic Constitution of Serbia was adopted, which marked the creation of a modern Serbian state.
We are rightly gathered around this date and around the idea of statehood, about freedom and national unity, around the past, the present and the future, about the obligation to preserve peace and identity.
The torch of liberty that was lit in 1804 was lit so many times in the previous two centuries. For life in freedom and peace, such a high price has been paid, many lives have been taken and huge sufferings have been caused. That is why it is our obligation both in Serbia and in the Republic of Srpska not to forget our past and our victims! It is our duty to confidently move to the future, to work hard and develop our countries, but at the same time to strongly and jealously preserve our identity and language, our traditional values and nurture historical memories.
It is the duty of our political generation, as well as those who will come after us, to learn from our history, to appreciate our highly paid freedom and to preserve peace together – so that we never again have to pay for our freedom by human lives.
I am happy that today we are gathered here to mark the Statehood Day of Serbia and I am grateful to the Presidents Aleksandar Vučić and Milorad Dodik who several years ago established the practice of our joint celebration of significant historical events from our past.
As the President of the Republic of Srpska, I am convinced that such practice and all the other good things we have developed in the meantime in our mutual relations will be continued, and I shall advocate our cooperation to become stronger and more intensive. It should be in the interest of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska, and it should never be directed against anyone else. This cooperation should confirm our close ties and determination to work together towards creating better conditions for the lives of our citizens. It should help us to continuously strengthen our institutions in order for them to respond to the challenges of the new time.
I am immensely grateful to the leadership of the Republic of Serbia for understanding, principled support to the Dayton position of the Republic of Srpska, as well as for numerous economic and infrastructural projects implemented in the Republic of Srpska with the financial assistance from the Government of Serbia. There is almost no municipality in Srpska today, where Serbia is not present through the newly built or renovated school, hospital, kindergarten, road, cultural centre, bridge, sports hall or other facility. I can say with pleasure that the relations between Srpska and Serbia today are at the highest possible level, and that in the future, they can only be stronger and more content.
We know that the time ahead of us will not be deprived of the challenges, both political or economic and financial, thus it is important to strengthen our institutions, to foster our cooperation, to defend our rights to the position, the right to the freedom and the right to the development of Srpska and Serbia. I wish peace, stability, economic progress and a safe environment to both Serbia and the Republic of Srpska!
With these wishes, I wish you a happy Statehood Day!
Long live Serbia!
Long live Republic of Srpska!