Princip's acted in defense of his country

BELGRADE - Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said on Monday that Gavrilo Princip had acted in defense of his country when he assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, a form of counterattack against the symbol of the monarchy that had taken away his country's freedom.

Princip's acted in defense of his country

"The trigger on Gavrilo Princip's gun was the trigger for freedom and for the conquerors to start World War one. The excuse, reason and cover for ambitions of global conquest," Nikolic said at the opening of an exhibition on Young Bosnia and the Sarajevo assassination at the Yugoslav Archive.

Young Bosnia was created under the European influences of its age, motivated by a strong need for freedom and justice for the people of annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina, by the idea of unification and creation of a country of South Slavic nations, Nikolic noted.

The exhibition is of extreme significance for understanding the influences that created the system of values the society of high-school and college students known as Young Bosnia accepted, Nikolic said at the ceremony, which was attended by member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency Nebojsa Radmanovic and a number of ambassadors, including US Ambassador Michael Kirby.

"That significance is particularly highlighted in a year inwhich the whole world remembers the start of the Great War by reviewing the causes and measuring the consequences, not only from the point of view of historical facts, but also in the context of today's political and economic powers in Europe and the world," the president pointed out.

According to Nikolic, past, present and future are the same in the sense that the great economic and military powers are able to impose their values for the future and in interpreting historical events.

Young Bosnia was nothing new or unusual in Europe, and different motives influenced students and intellectuals across Europe, but they all shared the need to establish new values in the society, Nikolic remarked.

Young people have always been guided by the idea of freedom, as their main motivator, Radmanovic said.

The exhibition is a great contribution to the debate on the causes of World War One and the Sarajevo assassination, and all those who speak in favor of Young Bosnia's actions are freedom fighters, he stated.

"Young Bosnia was attacked by those who wanted others' resources and defended by those who wanted freedom. We in Republika Srpska and Serbia see them as freedom fighters and thank them for it," Radmanovic pointed out.

Photo Tanjug, T. Valic