The government has expressed regret at the decision of the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Communities not to participate in the commemoration of victims of the WWII Jasenovac concentration camp this year, while the director of the Jasenovac memorial centre, Natasa Jovicic, hopes that the Coordinating Committee will change its mind and come to the commemoration.
"The government expresses regret at the decision of the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Communities not to attend this year's commemoration in tribute to the victims of the (WWII) Jasenovac concentration camp. The government holds that the attendance of representatives of Jewish communities at the commemoration is of extreme importance and that the reasons given for the non-attendance are not in proportion to the significance of their announced absence," the government said on Tuesday in a response to Hina.
The Coordinating Committee stated on Monday that it would not participate in the commemoration of victims of the WWII Jasenovac concentration camp because of "lack of political action" regarding changes made to the exhibits at the Jasenovac museum and "political events regarding the downplaying and revitalising of the Ustasha movement."
The government recalls that "it has clearly and unequivocally distanced itself from hate speech, invective messages and intolerance" and that it has condemned any attempt to degrade the achieved democratic values.
Promotion of symbols or slogans of totalitarian regimes is deemed by this government to be unacceptable, according to the response.
The director of the Jasenovac Memorial Site, Natasa Jovicic, stated that she too was saddened by the Coordinating Committee's decision, and added that she hoped it would change its mind.
Jovicic admitted that dissatisfaction with the museum's exhibits had been lasting for long time, explaining that in her opinion commemorations are not the place to clarify the reasons for such moves as non-attendance.
Jovicic said that she had talked with Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic for five hours regarding this issue and he had been notified of the problems.
According to Jovicic, Minister Hasanbegovic will arrive in Jasenovac before this year's commemoration, scheduled for 22 April.
She said that no political speech would be held during the commemorative event, set for 22 April.