Sidnej, 4 Oktobar – Danas uvece u 18 casova, sa koktel-recepcijom u srpskom centru u Bonirigu je formalno proslavljeno pustanje na slobodu Kapetana Dragana.
Svecanost je otvorio Sasha Milanovic, Predsednik Organizacije Srba za Pravdu i Demokratiju posle cega su prosledile video poruke Njegovog Preosvestenstva Vladike Australije i Novog Zelanda Irineja, pozdravi Njenog Visocanstva Princeze Karadjordjevic, zatim Kapetanovog dobrog prijatelja iz Amerike Stiva Platera.
Kapetan Dragan je potom ukratko pozdravio prisutne i podvukao znacaj odluke Australijanskog suda da ga oslobode dugogodisnjeg pritvora na osnovi korupiranog hrvatskog pravosudja i potrebu da se prosledi sirim akcijama obelodavljanja istine.
Posle svog govora, Kapetan Dragan je urucio “Povelju Zahvalnosti” i medalju “Justice Warrior” u ime srpske zajednice brojnim pojedincima koji su svojom aktivnoscu pridoneli odluci Australijanskog Federalnog Suda.
Kameron Dzekson koji je sa uspehom predvodio Kapetanovu legalnu odbranu dao je zavrsnu rec po predavanju znamenja zahvalnosti u kojoj je napomenuo da pravni proces suda jos uvek traje kao posledica Hrvatske zalbe Vrhovnom Sudu Australije na presudu Federalnog Suda koji je oslobodio Kapetana Dragana. Dali ce do ponovog sudjenja uopste doci zavisi od razmatranja zalbe apelacijonog sudije pred kojim se nalazi sadasnji proces.
Posle formalnog dela programa, gosti su ponudjeni obilnom zakuskom i imali su prilike da se druze i porazgovaraju sa Kapetanom a i medjusobno.
A da sve prodje domacinski odgovorni su:
Milomir Arsenic i Zoran Velimir, kuvari
Dragan Kos, slikar koji je napravio i urucio portret Kapetanu Draganu
Dragana Kos, dekoracija i servis
Zoran Podrinic, snimatelj i video link
Vlado Skataric i Dragana Kos, dizajn za zahvalnice
Bojana Miljevic i Zika Mijic, sve ostalo
Od srca im hvala.
Voja Ilic - Serbs for Justice and Democracy Australia
Video snimak ceremonije:
Transkript programa urucenja medalja:
ALEX: Good evening ladies and gentlemen, family, friends and distinguished guests.m My name is Alexander Glumac and I, along with Ms Milica Mladenovic, will be your hosts for this evening. Before we commence tonight’s ceremony, on the behalf of Captain Dragan Vasiljkovic, and our sponsors Serbs For Justice and Democracy, we would like to thank you all for coming tonight.
This night is not only about celebrating the release of Captain Dragan; this night is also about celebrating a hard-earned victory of justice. As the old adage goes, “confidence breeds confidence” and the coalescing of some the most active individuals has culminated in the prevailing of justice and the prevailing of freedom. If it were not for your fighting spirit, courage and hope, Captain Dragan would not be standing here tonight in our presence.
MILICA: Throughout the course of the evening, we will be acknowledging and thanking all the individuals who have contributed in this prolonged journey to victory. Captain Dragan will have the honour of presenting the Justice Warrior Medals to those who withstood time and overcame all obstacles to make this night possible.
We would also like to introduce our entertainment for this evening, ladies and gentlemen, the Sydney Chamber Orchestra. They will be enchanting us with their beautiful blend of classic music. Tonight’s presentation will be in English due to a large number of guests hailing from a non-Serbian speaking background.
2. ALEX: To commence tonight’s presentation, we would like to call the President of the Serbs For Justice and Democracy, Mr Sasha Milovanovic to say a few words.
3. President Sasha Milovanovic – SPEECH (2 min)
4. Introducing Steve Platter (Milica)
When it comes to epitomising friendship, no one does it better than Mr. Steve Platter. Captain Dragan not only sees Mr. Platter as a friend, but as a brother. Since they first met during the war, Mr. Platter and Captain Dragan have forged an unbreakable bond. Their solidified friendship has grown stronger over the years.
Mr. Platter, an American citizen, has lobbied hard both in America and in Australia for Captain Dragan’s release. He has met with some of the country’s premier politicians, including former Minister for Home Affairs, Bob Debus. It should be noted that Mr. Platter is a significant donor to the Captain Dragan and for someone who initially had no affiliation with the Serbian community; he has become a proven friend of the Serbs. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Steve Platter. (Video message playing)
5. ALEX: Introducing His Grace Bishop Irinej
In difficult times, it is often said, “desperate times call for desperate measures” and in this case, Captain Dragan a Serbian Citizen, lost all faith in the Serbian Government as they turned a blind eye and did not consider the urgency that was needed, to lend a helping hand. As the old Serbian saying goes, “Only Unity Saves the Serbs” and this is where he believed that the Serbian Government failed.
This is where His Grace Bishop Irinej stood in. His Grace, as an authoritative figure and representative of the Serbian Orthodox Church, championed long and hard for the burgeoning support for Captain Dragan. His Grace never lost faith in the justice system, as he knew that justice would prevail in the end. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to His Grace Bishop Irinej. (Video message playing)
6. HIS GRACE BISHOP IRINEJ – VIDEO SPEECH (5 mins)
7. MILICA: Introducing Captain Dragan
8. Captain Dragan – SPEECH (2 mins)
9. ALEX: Before we commence our awards presentation, I would kindly ask those who have come here tonight on behalf of the non-attending recipients, to collect their medals once the waiters start serving cocktails.
10. MILICA: Before we commence with the handing out of the Justice Warrior Medals, we would first like to talk about two of our most notable recipients, who were unable to make it to tonight.
HRH LINDA KARADJORDJEVIC
Our first recipient, whom Captain Dragan regards, has been and continues to be the rock of his Fund. Known for her benevolence, HRH Princess Linda Karadjordjevic of Serbia, the wife of the late Prince Tomislav Karadjordjevic has been integral to the Captain Dragan Fund. Her involvement with the Captain Dragan Fund has helped more than 67,000 victims of the war – regardless of their nationality. The Fund has also reached out to some 14,000 children, and from that figure alone, more than 2,500 never had the chance to see their fathers – as they were killed before they were born.
Furthermore, HRH has always been a big devotee of helping Captain Dragan throughout his plight. She has visited Captain Dragan in prison on many occasions and has been instrumental in lobbying for his release, including organising protests and accruing a large support base. Although she is unable to be here with us tonight, can we please put our hands together for her HRH Princess Linda Kardjordjevic.
ALEX: To our other recipient, who has apologised for her absence here tonight is Mrs Zoja Cleary.
Throughout Captain Dragan’s suffering, Ms Zoja Cleary – one of the co-founders of the Serbs for Justice Organisation – has been described by Captain Dragan as the “mother of the organisation”. Her courage and fortitude has to be admired, as she was crucial in setting the stage for this prolonged and unjustified battle.
A tireless activist and campaigner, Ms Cleary would stop at nothing to get her message across about the unfairness of Captain Dragan’s case – whether it is in the press or on television, especially when she appeared on The 7:30 Report in 2006. Her contribution, along with her legal team, have spawned positive results. Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Ms Zoja Cleary.
MILICA: Now we will begin by handing out the Justice Warrior Medals to those who have made it tonight.
MILICA – Dr Marko Marinkovic
As many of you would know, Dr. Marko Marinkovic, who is a recipient of The Order of Australia, is one of the longest and most active participants within the entire Serbian Community. Known for his persistence and diligence, he has played an intrinsic role in so many projects, campaigns and causes for the Serbian people that the list would be too long to traverse in one night.
Captain Dragan once told me, that Dr. Marko Marinkovic stands “head and shoulders” above the rest. He has been Captain Dragan’s pillar throughout his terrible ordeal and has been the largest individual donor for his case. Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Dr. Marko Marinkovic.
АLEX – Mr George Bubalo
Our next recipient of the Justice Warrior medal has been an active member of the Serbian Community for as long as we can all remember. He is one of the co-founders of Serbs For Justice and was also its first and longest serving president. Captain Dragan considers him as a loyal, reliable and unconditional friend, who has also been a major donor to this case in every step of the way. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. George Bubalo.
MILICA – Mr Zika Mijic
Another key player who deserves a special mention is Mr Ziko Mijic, who is currently a board member of the Bonnyrigg Sports Club. Mr Mijic is also one of the co-founders and driving forces behind the Serbs for Justice Organisation, and his determination and might throughout Captain Dragan’s incarceration needs to be acknowledged, as he never, ever ruminated about disengaging from this uphill battle.
He did not know about the word no, nor did he ever say “I don’t have the time” or “I think this is too difficult”. For the past four years, Mr Mijic, regardless of how dire the situation provided a pillar of support for Captain Dragan. When problems needed solving, he was always there to provide the answers. Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Mr Ziko Mijic.
MILICA – Mr Igor Elezovic
Throughout Captain Dragan’s incarceration, the media has played an ominous role in misconstruing his image as a war criminal and murderer. You have undoubtedly read about it in the newspaper or seen it on television. As a result, this has had a negative imprint, portraying Captain Dragan as being someone else. However, if there is one man who has been responsible for keeping us up-to-date on what has actually been happening, it is none other than Mr. Igor Elezovic.
Mr. Elezovic, a co-founder and important member of the Serbs For Justice Organization, and brainchild behind Krajinaforce.com, has worked tirelessly throughout this horrible media blockade to present to the world on Captain Dragan’s struggle and fight for freedom.
During the past four years, Mr. Elezovic would work to the early hours of dawn to keep us all informed on the latest news of Captain Dragan’s case. He would go through all the details, from A to Z, ensuring that the information is fresh and accessible to everyone. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Igor Elezovic.
ALEX – Mrs Nada Lukic-Bruce
Our next receiver of the Justice Warriors medal is a big supporter and backer of Captain Dragan. Separating him from everyday life as we know it, was the “concrete dungeon” and within that tumultuous period, Mrs Nada Lukic-Bruce acted as Captain Dragan’s conduit – “the eyes and ears” of the outside world.
In addition, distance proved to be no barrier for Mrs Lukic-Bruce, as she would travel more than 1,000 km to visit Captain Dragan on regular occasions, informing him on all the happenings behind “closed doors”. She also passed his messages onto the outside world, particularly those who mattered to him most, his family and dearest friends. Captain Dragan cannot be thankful enough and considers Mrs Lukic-Bruce as his true friend for life. Ladies and gentlemen, Mrs Nada Lukic Bruce.
MILICA – Present Posthumous Medal to Mr Budimir Miric’s family member, who passed away in 2006.
The late Budimir Miric, known to his friends and family as “Bud” was a valued and trusted member of the Serbian Community, known for his hard and tireless work ethic, who would always give his time for anyone in need. A former Bonnyrigg Sports Club board member and President of the Golden Eagles Serbian Social Golf Club, he was very active and vocal about doing all he could for Captain Dragan. He would organise funds and gather as much support as possible for Captain Dragan. He was always confident that justice would prevail; sadly, he did not live to see when justice won over. He is greatly missed by all of us and he will never be forgotten. This Justice Warrior Medal is dedicated for the late Mr Budimir Miric.
11. (45min) Other Award winners #90 (45 Alex & 45 Milica)
12. MILICA – Introducing Mr Cameron Jackson
Captain Dragan considers our next recipient of the Justice Warrior as a “striker”. A striker, as in someone who is seen as goal-getter and match winner for the national football side. Someone who is determined to do whatever it takes to get his team to victory. That striker is Mr Cameron Jackson.
He is the first lawyer who has successfully prevailed to win an extradition case under its current act. In what appeared to be a losing battle, he turned it into triumph. This night, and most importantly, this victory would not have been possible without our “striker”, who has literally scored the winning goal in this prolonged battle. Ladies and gentlemen, would you please give a round of applause for Mr. Cameron Jackson.
Serbs for Justice and Democracy Australia
Spisak svih primaoca jedne od 3 vrste medalje “Justice Warrior”
Hon. Peter Breen
Dr Marko Marinković
Dr Vojislav Ilić
Arend de Wit
Princeza Linda Karadjordjević
Budimir Mirić (Posmrtno)
Nikola & Vera Barać
Radiša & Stojna Zbiljić
Puk. Mihajlo Knežević
Gen. Mile Novaković
Miroslav Hadži Popović