The President of the Republic of Srpska Željka Cvijanović attended the 57th “Kočić`s Gathering” in Stričići in Manjača.
The President of the Republic of Srpska pointed out, in her address at the ceremonial academy, that there are few writers whose literary work is so consistent with life and personal destiny, as was the case with Petr Kočić, who was much more than a writer and a storyteller.
The President of the Republic stated that Kočić was at the same time an authentic people’s tribune, a fighter for freedom and justice, a man of his region and race, as described by the great Ivo Andrić.
“He wrote and spoke from the heart and soul of his people, for whose freedom he uncompromisingly fought without sparing his own. He was persecuted, arrested and imprisoned because of his sharp pen with which he shook the foundations of the occupying power in the former Bosnia and Herzegovina. He did not agree to compromises, nor did he accept the occupation managers under the pretext of political reality. He did not flatter Benjamin Kalaj, even though he was aware of the power behind him”, reminded the President Cvijanović.
The President of the Republic of Srpska added that Kočić was ready to make a sacrifice in the fight for the freedom of his people, regardless of the price and the consequences, which were fatal for him.
“He died young, not seeing his 40th birthday, nor the freedom of his homeland. For himself, towards the end of his life, he said: “I was born in slavery, I lived in slavery, I died in slavery”. But the libertarian flame ignited by great men like Kočić has lasted through the generations and is woven into the foundations of the Republic of Srpska”, said the President of the Republic.
And that is why even today, the President of Srpska pointed out, we have no right to make excuses in defense of our Republic and our hard-won freedom.
“We have no right to remain silent while some new Kalaj uninvited and unprovoked announces the revision of history in our schools. We have no right to silently observe the process of expropriation of the Republic of Srpska, confiscation of our property and rights guaranteed by the Constitution”, said the President of the Republic of Srpska.
The President Cvijanović stated that even today, as in Kočić’s time, they want to convince us that people who are not mature for democracy and self-governance live here, but that even in the 21st century we need a political guardian from abroad.
“Our duty is to oppose such an underestimating attitude towards our people, who paid the highest possible price for freedom. And our determination to step boldly into the future, together with others in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is not disputed. Peace is our imperative, because we, as a people, know very well how disastrous any alternatives are. But, on that path, we are not ready to forget our past and renounce the Republic of Srpska at any cost”, it was emphasized by the President of the Republic.
The President Cvijanović pointed out that the current generation leading the Republic of Srpska left behind great deeds, which means the development and progress of Srpska.
“That was our goal. We built roads, schools, hospitals for the benefit of our citizens”, said the President of the Republic and emphasized that the Republic of Srpska is the only guarantor of our survival, and this is not a political platitude, but a historically based fact.
“I am convinced that Kočić would be proud of our and of his Republic of Srpska, in which he wove his immortal legacy. And that is why his works will live forever, just like our homeland! Long live freedom, long live the Republic of Srpska!”, said the President of the Republic of Srpska.