By Charles Ingrao, Thomas A. Emmert
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Extra resources for Confronting the Yugoslav controversies : a scholars’ initiative
The Serbian media turned on Slovenia; Serbia, Vojvodina, and Kosovo began to boycott Slovenian products and nationalize the assets of Slovenian companies; and a meeting to “present the truth” about Kosovo to the Slovene public was scheduled for 1 December 1989. Faced with the prospect of several hundred thousand Serbs descending on Ljubljana for the “Meeting of Truth,” as it was called in Serbia, Kučan banned the rally. The “truth” about Kosovo had already been displayed on 28 June 1989, the six-hundredth anniversary of the battle of Kosovo Polje, when more than a million Serbs descended on Kosovo to hear Milošević tell them: “Six centuries [after the battle of Kosovo Polje], we are again engaged in battles and quarrels.
31 Another Slovene writer, Janez Menart, calculated that according to the core proposal a Serbo-Croatian speaking primary school pupil would read only three Slovene poems, whereas a Slovene-speaking pupil would read more than thirty-five Serbo-Croatian poems. 32 Defenders of the core noted that it was to cover only half of the literature curriculum. 33 Nevertheless, at a public meeting in Ljubljana organized by the Slovene Writers Union on 19 September 1983, leading Slovene writers (Ciril Zlobec, Rudi Šeligo, Janez Rotar, Bojan Štih) rejected the proposed common core out of hand.
The battlegrounds were the Serbian League of Communists and the Serbian media. The danger to Yugoslavia’s stability presented by any attempt to reconstruct the country on the basis of Serb domination was obvious in terms of demographics. 3 million in Kosovo and Vojvodina, and close to 2 million outside Serbia, they formed only 36 percent of the population according to the 1981 census, and that proportion was declining. Serbs therefore formed a sufficiently great proportion of the population to destabilize Yugoslavia but not to dominate it.