Deminers Get Two Trained Dogs

The demining battalion of the Bosnian Armed Forces got two trained mine detection dogs as part of efforts to improve the efficiency of demining operations in the country. The Government of Switzerland supported the training of two dogs and their handlers at the Global Training Center of Norwegian People’s Aid for Mine Detection Dogs in Blagovac, near Sarajevo.

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The use of mine detection dogs helps speed up the mine detection process

“I am convinced that the two Mine Detection Dogs are a precious investment in the future and that Hob and Jerko Hannibal will help the Demining Battalion perform their important humane activities, thus contributing to free the land of mines in the fastest way possible. This will not only increase the safety of the citizens of BiH, but also improve their livelihoods and therefore contribute to the socio-economic development of the country”, said Barbara Dätwyler Scheuer of the Swiss Embassy.

Since 2003 the Swiss Government is continuously supporting the Norwegian People’s Aid mine action program in BiH. During the past years an amount of 10 million KM was spent on mine action activities throughout the country. The project aims at improving the quality of life of the population in areas affected by mines, cluster munition and other explosive remnants of the war.

The use of mine detection dogs in mine action operations helps speed up the mine detection process and reduce the risks significantly. In November 2016, two mine detection dogs that underwent a specific advanced training were handed over to the demining battalion as part of the same project.

Landmine contamination in Bosnia is one of the remnants of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. All combatants laid landmines during the war and as a result Bosnia has one of the most severe landmine problems in the world.

Cannon Shot Marks the Start of Ramadan

A single cannon shot at sunset from a hill fortress overlooking Sarajevo marked the start of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. Muslims across the world will be fasting during the month that ends with the most important festival in Islam – Eid al-Fitr, this year on June 25.

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Each day during Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset

The custom of announcing the daily fast break with a cannon shot is a Bosnian Muslim tradition that saw a revival in the years after the Bosnian war, when the society became more traditional and religious under the rule of nationalist parties.

Ramadan is a holy month of fasting, introspection and prayer for Muslims. Fasting is one of the five fundamental principles of Islam. Each day during Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. They are also supposed to avoid impure thoughts and bad behavior. Muslims break their daily fasts by sharing meals with family and friends, and the end of Ramadan is celebrated with a three-day festival known as Eid al-Fitr.

Ramadan is observed to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief.

Organizations Seek End to Segregated Schools in Bosnia

Bosnian civil society organizations urged the authorities to end segregation in schools, known as the “two schools under one roof“, which they said was unacceptable in the 21st century.

“We support the struggle of high school students in Jajce against the divisions thrust upon them and we express our respect for those young people who live in a world that seems to be poisoning their lives with distrust and hatred. We wish they grew up to be humane beings with empathy and faith in humanity,” said a statement  signed by 20 civil society organizations.

Jajce high school

The organizations said the the current divisions in Bosnia’s schools are not only far from the world or European standards, but also hinder any chance for development and prosperity for younger generations.

“We call on the BiH authorities, especially in the cantons where segregation in schools exists, to take steps and create a unified education system, and stop the practice of separating children on the basis of their ethnicity, which is a request of various international organizations and bodies, including UN Committee for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. We ask them to ensure full implementation of the Framework Law on Primary and Secondary Education in BiH and its key provisions on the common core curriculum,” said the statement.

4G Unlikely to Arrive in Bosnia before 2018

The Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with relevant ministries, will define the conditions for issuing licenses for the 4G network, the price of these licenses, payment process and purpose of expenditure of these funds.

A source from the telecom regulator told Nezavisne Novine that the spectrum has already been secured but that, according to unofficial information, the launch of 4G services is unlikely before the start of 2018 or even later. However, the three dominant telecom operators should soon receive licences for test 4G transmissions.

Pamela Anderson Pleads for Fur Farming Ban in Bosnia

Actress Pamela Anderson, a PETA Ambassador, pleaded with a Bosnian politician to uphold the fur farming ban in Bosnia, reported local television. Anderson wrote to the speaker of Bosnian House of Peoples, Bariša Čolak, urging him not to buckle under the pressure of the fur farming lobby and to support the ban, which the Bosnian lawmakers are set to extend by 2028.

Pamela Anderson

According to the 2009 animal welfare law, fur farming in Bosnia should be banned from 2018. However, at attempt to postpone the ban in 2016 failed in the parliament. The latest attempt could succeed as a parliament commission upheld the ban postponement. The lawmaker that pushed for the postponement told the commission that jobs will be lost in an industry that is export-oriented should the ban becomes effective.

House of Reps Will Not Discuss Excise Tax Law This Month

The national parliament’s lower house will not discuss a set of laws on excise tax in its session scheduled for 31 May, a press conference in Sarajevo was told by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers Denis Zvizdić. He said that “the draft legislation will definitely not be in the same form as before, because it would be pointless to try adopting it in such manner for the third or fourth time”.

Denis Zvizdić

“The Council of Ministers will consider the modalities and ways in which it can present a new draft law on excise tax to the parliamentarians ,” said Zvizdić.

He pointed out he learned from the media that the Indirect Taxation Authority has drafted a law on excise tax, but the ITA did not consult the Council of Ministers.

Giving up Is Not an Option

100 Meters, an inspirational movie about human perseverance, is playing in Cinema City from Thursday. The movie is based on a true story of a man with multiple sclerosis who tried to finish a triathlon called Iron Man: 3.8 km swimming, 180 km cycling and 42 km running. He was told that he could not make 100 meters.

100 Meters (100 metros) tells the true story of Ramón Arroyo, the father of two children and a successful man who has multiple sclerosis, and is told that he will never be able to run 100 meters, hence the title of the film. Ignoring this warning, and after overcoming a fit of depression, he trains hard to participate in Iron Man, one of the most difficult triathlon competitions in the world.