Monument to Stefan Nemanja unveiled in Banjaluka

Banjaluka – Srpska President Milorad Dodik unveiled a monument to Stefan Nemanja outside the Museum of Republika Srpska in Banjaluka on Friday.“This is yet another event in Banjaluka that highlights what we wish to say to everyone – that it is our intention to develop a free, democratic, strong and independent Republika Srpska,” Dodik said addressing a large number of people from Banjaluka and renowned guests.

Dodik pointed out that a people’s aspiration to create a state was absolutely legitimate.

“It is our aspiration that Republika Srpska be less of an entity and more of a state. We have proven it as our exclusive ability in the time that is behind us and we are yet to prove it in the time ahead,” said Dodik.

His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, said that Stefan Nemanja left a permanent mark in the Serbian history and that some of his messages to the Serbs were popular even in the present day.

“The messages of Stefan Nemanja to the Serbs are to preserve their faith, language, culture and history. It would be good to repeat those words today both in Republika Srpska and in Serbia and to the Serbs around the world,” said the Serbian Patriarch.

Patriarch Irinej said that those lessons and advice from Stefan Nemanja were needed by the Serbs even today.

It is a great honour to unveil the monument to Stefan Nemanja in Banjaluka, the first such monument in the Serb states Republika Srpska and Serbia, said the patriarch.

The patriarch consecrated the monument with the help of Bishop Jefrem of Banjaluka and the Banjaluka Diocese clergy.

The ceremony was attended by Srpska Prime Minister Zeljka Cvijanovic, Vice-President Emil Vlajki, Srpska ministers, President of the Srpska Academy of Sciences and Arts Rajko Kuzmanovic, Serbian Consul General in Banjaluka Vladimir Nikolic, Head of the Srpska Secretariat for Religious Communities Dragan Davidovic, Banjaluka Mayor Slobodan Gavranovic, Novi Sad Mayor Milos Vucevic, head of the Dostojanstvo Foundation Miroslav Parovic, as well as other distinguished guests and citizens of Banjaluka.

Prior to the ceremonious unveiling of the monument, the Srpska and Serbian national anthems “My Republic” and “God of Justice” respectively were played.