Address by the President of the Republic of Srpska Željka Cvijanović at the solemn state ceremony marking Sretenje – the Statehood Day of the Republic of Serbia in Orašac:
Dear envoy of the President of the Republic of Serbia and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia,
Dear Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia,
Dear Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska,
Dear MPs, ministers, representatives of the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska`s institutions,
Dear bishops and clergy,
Dear citizens, dear friends,
At the beginning, allow me to extend congratulations on behalf of the citizens of the Republic of Srpska and on my own behalf, on the Statehood Day to the leadership and the citizens of the Republic of Serbia.
This great holiday, which brought us together this year as well, despite the many challenges brought by the pandemic, always reminds us of the importance of two things that guarantee existence, duration and development – freedom and the state.
It was precisely the Serbian National Revolution, which began at this place on February 15, 1804, that represented the aspiration to implement these two basic values, which are still deeply woven into our national, political and cultural being.
Freedom is a precondition for the life of every man and every single nation. Throughout history, the highest price has been paid for it, measured by severe suffering – huge human sacrifices and material destruction.
And every time the fight for freedom was a fight for life, for survival, for our own piece of land and sky, for the opportunity to develop and create on our own terms on our own land, not keeping freedom only for ourselves, but sharing it with other nations.
But despite that, unfortunately, even today there are those who try to diminish and desecrate the victims of the Serb people and its suffering for the civilization values.
In addition to freedom, another great value is the state. On this day, 186 years ago, Serbia received its first constitution and thus, in the political and constitutional and legal sense, began its path towards building a modern statehood. That path was thorny, with various problems and challenges, but today’s Serbia is proof that all obstacles from the past have been successfully overcome and that Serbia is strong and determined enough to cope with the challenges of the future.
Which is why today’s Serbia, as the leader in the region, is the pride and serves to the honour also of us who live in the Republic of Srpska, because we know that without the Republic of Srpska there is no freedom for us, but we also know that our daily struggle for the Republic of Srpska is largely made easier thanks to the support we receive from Serbia.
It is our duty to persistently and tirelessly preserve and safeguard all which brings us together and to respect what previous generations have done for us, creating an obligation for us to build the preconditions for a stable future for new generations.
We are not naive and we know that in today’s world of distorted truths and double standards, it will not be an easy task, but even the history so far has not put small and simple challenges before us, yet we managed to overcome them.
Dear citizens of Serbia, dear friends,
I congratulate you on the Statehood Day with the wish for further progress of Serbia and that each of our gatherings in future be a sign of our even stronger unity and togetherness.
Long live the Republic of Srpska!
Long live the Republic of Serbia!