All posts by insidesarajevo

Pope Appoints Envoy to Medjugorje

Pope Francis named a Polish archbishop as special envoy to Medjugorje, a popular but controversial pilgrimage town thanks to alleged appearances of the Virgin Mary. Six young people in Medjugorje said Mary spoke to them in 1981 and continues visiting them to this day, but the apparitions were never officially confirmed by the Vatican.

Archbishop Henryk Hoser is being sent to “acquire a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation” in Medjugorje, and “above all the needs of the faithful who go there on pilgrimage,” the Vatican said.

Hoser, whose mandate will last until summer, will not be tasked with verifying the authenticity of the apparitions, because that task falls to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Under growing pressure from local clergy and pilgrims to term the Medjugorje events a continuation of Marian visions, several church investigations have been commissioned. The last one, commissioned in 2010, concluded its report in January 2014, but nothing has been officially announced. In November 2013, Pope Francis issued what could be interpreted as an invitation to caution about events in Medjugorje.

“The Virgin is not a post office chief who would send messages every day,” he said.

Each year about one million people visit Medjugorje, some 25 kilometers southwest of Mostar .

Ombudspersons Are Compiling a Report on Journalists

The state Ombudspersons are compiling a report on press freedoms and threats against journalists in Bosnia. The report was recommended by the Council of Ministers as part of an action plan for the implementation of priorities set in the European Commission’s 2015 progress report on Bosnia.

The report will focus on the legal status of journalists and an analysis of the effectiveness of existing institutional mechanisms, the methods of their operation and their accessibility.

The Ombudspersons said they will quiz journalists about issues relevant to their employment status, work rights and obligations, safety in performing tasks, freedom of expression, protection against discrimination, etc.

Town’s Art Cinema Gets Heating, Organizes “Hot”Screening

Sarajevo’s art cinema said it now has heating in the theater, and on that occasion a Hollywood classic will be screened tonight, February 11, admission-free.

Kriterion cinema, open since 2011, is an art cinema/exhibition venue/bar that caters to fans of cinema and art. It employs students and emerging artists and fosters financial independence of promising talents.

The cinema will screen “Some like it hot” (1959) tonight at 9 pm to mark the installation of a heating system in the main venue. The entrance is free.

Synopsis: When two Chicago musicians, Joe and Jerry, witness the the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, they want to get out of town and get away from the gangster responsible, Spats Colombo. They’re desperate to get a gig out of town but the only job they know of is in an all-girl band heading to Florida. They show up at the train station as Josephine and Daphne, the replacement saxophone and bass players. They certainly enjoy being around the girls, especially Sugar Kane Kowalczyk who sings and plays the ukulele. Joe in particular sets out to woo her while Jerry/Daphne is wooed by a millionaire, Osgood Fielding III. Mayhem ensues as the two men try to keep their true identities hidden and Spats Colombo and his crew show up for a meeting with several other crime lords.


Jailed Genocide Coordinator Dies at Age 77

Ljubisa Beara, the logistics mind behind the 1995 Srebrenica genocide and a convicted war criminal, died at age 77 in a prison in Berlin, Germany where he was serving a life sentence rendered by The Hague tribunal, reported Klix. Beara, a former colonel and chief of security of the wartime Bosnian Serb army high command, was found guilty in the second instance in 2015.

In other news, a permanent exhibition opened in the former U.N. compound in Potocari, near Srebrenica, which was turned into a memorial center. The exhibition includes  reconstructed DutchBat headquarters, photographs, and audio and video footage.

“It is emotional to be back,” said Gerry Kremer, a surgeon in the DutchBat battalion, after paying his respects with a dozen other Dutch soldiers at a cemetery where the remains of more than 6,300 victims were buried so far, reported VoA.

The Dutch soldiers were meant to protect the local population in Srebrenica enclave, but they were lightly armed and had no orders to confront the Bosnian Serb army commanded by General Ratko Mladic, currently on trial in The Hague.

Federation Gets Law on Foster Care

Upper house of the Federation entity’s parliament adopted the law on foster care. The law was previously adopted by the lower house and will enter into force eight days after publication in the entity’s Official Gazette.

The law passed by the House of Peoples defines foster care, foster parents, foster children and two types of compensation for the parents. A person eligible to be a foster parent must be an adult Bosnian national living in the country. They must have a clean bill of health and a high school diploma.

The foster care agreement defines mutual rights and obligations and is signed by a center for social work and a foster parent candidate.

The law is part of the social welfare reform in the Federation.

Documentary on Bosnia’s Segregated School Will Compete in Zagreb Fest

A documentary on Travnik’s segregated high school will compete in the regional program of Zagrebdox festival of documentary this year.

“Two Schools”, directed by Srđan Šarenac, explores the impact of so-called “two schools under one roof”, a practice of separation of school children from different ethnic communities that was meant to be a transition solution for unified schools, but instead remained a persistent model that proves to be hard to dismantle.

Synopsis: “Following the war in Bosnia, the once renowned Travnik Gymanasium was divided into two parts by color and a fence. One part is for Croatian and another for Bosniak students. There are no contacts between them although they share the same school building. The principal of the Croatian part decides to organize a football tournament so that the students can meet and get to know each other. Some of them think that socializing with others is something very natural, while others don’t share the same view. The film centers around the captains of the two football teams.”

Zagrebdox 2017 is will be held February 26-March 5.

Bosnians Mock Ruling Party on Sarajevo Olympics Anniversary

This week marked the anniversary of 1984 Sarajevo Olympics and Twitter users set out to criticize the authorities in Sarajevo by mocking the ruling SDA party. Tweets with hashtag “if the Olympics was organized by the SDA” highlighted the difference between the time Sarajevo hosted the Olympics and today, when the city is gripped by problems like water supply shortages, frail public transportation, corruption and alarming air pollution levels.

Srđan Puhalo took a political angle and tweeted that Turkey would dominate on Bjelasnica and Igman mountains (in the Federation) and Russia would dominate on Jahorina (in Republika Srpska).

Reis Ulema tweeted that the opposition Civil Alliance leaders Reuf Bajrovic and Emir Suljagic would say that the Olympics was a plot of the international Olympics committee members to divide Bosnia among themselves, alluding to the opposition party’s accusations that the SDA is in cahoots with the Bosnian Croat HDZ to split the Federation among themselves.

D. P. tweeted that the Una-Sana Canton would organize an A-Olympics, because some SDA members in the Canton left the party and organized their A-SDA party.

Genijalan ud tweeted that the price of Olympic torch in the official report would be 70 million, alluding to corruption in public procurement.