Barbara Habus Translated by: Dan O. Rados
KATARINE PEJAKOVIĆ’s OPEN LETTER TO AN INCOMPETENT
MINISTER RADMAN REGARDING THE “SERBO-CROATIAN LANGUAGE”
The minister of Foreign and European affairs of Croatia Gordan Grlić Radman visited Canada from 11 through 14 April 2023. Radman attended the formal ceremonies commemorating the 30 th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Croatia and Canada. During his formal visit to Ottawa, Vancouver, Mississauga and Toronto, Katarina Pejaković, a Croatian émigré and writer who permanently resides in Canada, forwarded an open letter to the visiting minister regarding the issue of the so called “serbocroatian language”.
OPEN LETTER REGARDING THE LACK OF CONCERN
REGARDING CROATIAN LANGUAGE IN DIASPORA
May I with pleasure state that in 1991, together with my husband, I actively lobbied before the Canadian parlamentarians for abolishment of the term “srbo-croatian language” and for a formal introduction of the cathedra of the Croatian language designed for the Canadian diplomatic personnel. The changes were approved with the formal recognition of Croatian independence; we were, consequently, offered to present a teaching program of “Croatian language, culture and customs”. The Fall of 1992 saw the implementation of the first courses; the attendees were primarily diplomatic personnel who were being prepared for assignments in Zagreb, in addition to other Canadian government employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Thus, Canada became the first country in the world which formally made available the learning of the Croatian language to its diplomatic personnel.
In 1997, for reasons too extensive to be elaborated here, The University requested a written note from the Croatian diplomatic legation in Ottawa to confirm that Croatian is the official language of the Republic of Croatia. I personally visited the legation and faced a schocking experience: the legation representative indicated that “Kolinda Grabar Kitarović refused to issue such note with attached argument that the Croatian language was never recognized by the American Congress and thus, the legation had no authority to confirm that the Croatian language is, indeed, the official language in the Republic of Croatia.
PEJAKOVIĆ’s COMMENT TO RADMAN REGARDING THE
“SERBO-CROATIAN LANGUAGE: YOUR RESPONSE IS SHOCKING!
Last month, Mr. Radman, you expressed something similar while attending the Global Croatia event. A question was posed as to why Croatian government is undertaking no action so that Austria, its closest ally country, change the name serbocroatian into Croatian at the academic level, since, according to current labeling students studying the Croatian language and literature are actually receiving diplomas in serbocroatian language and serbocroatian literature. You replied that such decision does not fall under either your or Croatia’s jurisdiction, but exclusively the jurisdiction of Austria.
YOUR ANSWER IS SHOCKING!
If my husband and I, as average citizens without political titles or powers, have been able to make such a change at the level of Canadian national ministry, I must conclude that you neither care nor have the political will to instill a truthful change.
Furthermore, it is a shameful fact that your ministry has, for more than thirty years, ignored the status of Croatians in Slovenia; they are not recognized as a national minority, they have no privileges as other national minorities, while, at the same time the Slovenes in Croatia enjoy full rights and recognitions as a national minority?
FOR 25 YEARS THE GOVERNMENTS IN ZAGREB HAVE INSULTED AND
IGNORED THE RIGHTS OF CROATIAN VETERANS AND EMIGREES
The Croatians living in many countries in the free world have demonstrated their desire to be responsible citizens of the Republic of Croatia and that they want to participate in the process of building the native country with their vote, offering at the same time more than substantial financial participation. Pitifully enough, this simple universal right has been denied as successive Croatian governments refuse to act; as a simple example, the refusal to implement electronic voting process.
It must be clearly understood that free Croatia which enabled you, (mr. minister), to hold a position as a minister of foreign affairs, that Croatia ( ! ), came into existence by action of two primary groups of citizens: the Croatian veterans and the Croatians emigres. Despite such reality, the government in Zagreb intentionally marginalizes both of these groups!
I expect you to take a message from your visit to Canada and Canadian Croatians to the government in Zagreb: the Croatian patriot emigres have not been driven into the ground ; nor are they as divided as are the multiple political parties in Croatia proper. The Croatian emigres continue to be led by the cardinal ideology summarized under the motto of truly free and truly democratic Croatia. Be aware that there are many Bušić idealists among us-and within us- who are ready, should it be needed again, to fight for a better and just Croatia, concluded mrs. Pejaković.
Katarina Pejaković Gordan Grlić Radman
This sincere and sad note pinpoints the irresponsibility of the representatives of the Croatian government in a very important matter of national interest and dignity for Croatians on both sides of the ocean. Not only are the described facts shameful; they clearly indicate a dangerous political behavior by a high official which borders with treason. This shameful incident is only one among many which grow in crescendo year in and year out, thirty years after attaining independence through a brutal war which claimed countless lives fighting for this very right.
Kolinda Grabar Kitarović proudly admits to be a granddaughter of the Kvarner partisan; thus, her adult diplomatic behavior is not surprising. What is surprising, indeed, is that despite the democratic changes, despite the fact that we succeeded in establishing an independent Croatian nation, her partisan and Yugoslav partiality did not change at all. These facts became evident a very short time after her assumption to Presidency of the Republic.
We should remember how Kolinda cultivated her public image that led to a position of top leadership. As a diplomat, she often visited a political prisoner Zvonko Bušić, in an orchestrated move by old apparatchiks Stipe Mesić and Budimir Lončar who worked with US contacts on his release from prison. Bušić initially “recognized the concern of the representatives of the Croatian Republic “ in the process of his release. It is only a speculation as to what extent he later realized that his release was a part of the predetermined plan by the Yugoslavs to uncover the Croatian democratic political opposition in exile through the entire process.
In addition, we should not forget that, surprisingly enough, there were significant fragments of the Croatian right movement that supported Kolinda; the parts of that support are truly surprising considering the evidence that she is a copartner in a London investment firm together with Stipe Mesić and Saša Perković, son of Josip Perković, the executioner and liquidator of Croatian dissidents in exile in Germany; as a result of this activity, Perković has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the German courts. Furthermore, at the very start of her career, Kolinda Kitarović was gifted with a Fullbright scholarship for a doctoral program. The crude fact is that she is the only person who received a Fullbright certification having neither started nor completed the her doctoral program!.
It is only due to the intervention of the Croatian patriots in USA that she was eventually prevented from (being considered for) and assuming positions of international importance; as a result, she found employment in the city of Split based institution known for being a training ground for the indoctrination of the new “leftist kadres”; a position for one more “consultant” for the future supporter group of (none other) than Mate Granić.
Gordan Grlić Radman originates in a family of communist elitist who was a director of the Sljeme industry, naturally, by now defunct, who actually purchased the entire business for a value of cents on a dollar at the time when true patriots were defending the homeland on the war front line. He fits perfectly into the old communist elite group which is currently led by a son of ex major in the intelligence branch of the communist Yugoslav army and “a yugoslav army doctor”. Thus, Radman’s scandalous, anti-Croatia position is not surprising considering the top leadership he follows and obeys. All of this is a part of the tragic reality and behavior of top political leadership in Croatia.
Pitifully enough, such is the uninterrupted trend of poisoning the society at large: with party slogans for 45 years in the communist Yugoslavia, and thereafter by imposition of all decadent philosophies hidden under pro Yugoslav, pro Serbian agenda for 22 years, both periods being characterized by plunder of national wealth for the benefit of few who have institutionalized criminal behavior. The power control in today’s Croatia and its top leaders should be the object of true democratic opposition!
The best way to act in dissention is to uncover the historical and institutionalized lies, the deposing the plainly incompetent ideologs in leading positions of power who either by negligence or ignorance perpetuate criminal institutional behavior.
This letter of Mrs. Pejakovic is a quality example of what needs to be done.
In the interest of truly and honestly free and democratic Croatia!.
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