Former enemy combatants in a TV debate
They are no longer in trenches in front of each-other, holding weapons in arms, as in times of battle. This time they are facing each other in a debate. This week’s edition of the TV programme “Tema”, a Prishtina-Belgrade television bridge, confronts KLA and former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia veterans.
This time they are facing each other in a debate. This week’s edition of the TV programme “Tema”, a Prishtina-Belgrade television bridge, confronts KLA and former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia veterans.
Veterans of KLA and the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia army, an entity composed of Serbia and Montenegro during the war in Kosovo will again face each other, this time not through the power of weapons, but rather of arguments.
The new edition of programme “Tema” will join in a debate through the Prishtina-Belgrade television bridge former enemy combatants, who now see life differently.
Participating the debate from the Belgrade studio are Dejan Ivanovic and Veroljub Smiljkovic, and Lirak Çelaj and Gazmend Fazliu from the studio in Prishtina.
Dejan Ivanovic is a war veteran from Krusevac. In the time of the war in Kosovo, he was doing his regular military service. In May 1999, he was wounded in the battle of Koshare.
“I was serving my obligation to the country”, said Ivanovic in the debate to be aired tonight in Radio-Television 21.
Lirak Çelaj, who was operating in the Kosovo Liberation Army’s Llapi Operational Zone, stated in the debate that it is difficult for him to face two Serb soldiers who fought in Kosovo, but accepts that such a verbal confrontation must happen.
“We have no other route to follow and politics should now play its role”, said Çelaj, who is a renowned actor in Kosovo.
Veroljub Smiljkovic, the other participant in the soldiers’ debate is also from Krusevac. In 1998 he was wounded while carrying food for soldiers of the Shtime zone. He now manages the organization “Defenders of Peace” and asks for cooperation with the veterans of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
“It is important to understand that we have to work in peace building. War is the most terrible thing that has ever happened to humankind”, said Smiljkovic.
Gazmend Fazliu, a KLA veteran, also thinks about peace, and said that it is time to cooperate and create a new peace climate.
Veterans of both sides of the war have faced each other for the first time in a TV debate.
In the programme “Tema” they discuss on the possibility of overcoming problems and the ways to achieve peace. Veterans also speak of their statuses in their respective countries, how they are treated by the state and what lives they lead.
When veterans speak war is also recalled.
“I hope that this [war] never happens again, but if it does and if there is a need, I would fight again”, said Gazmend Fazliu.
This edition of the programme “Tema” will be broadcasted tonight at 22:30 in RTV21.