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Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada

The letter of Suzana Vukic - Columnist, The Hudson/St.Lazare Gazette to the University of British Columbia

Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada
Published: February 24, 2011  

The letter of Suzana Vukic - Columnist, The Hudson/St.Lazare Gazette to the University of British Columbia

Office of the President
The University of British Columbia
6328 Memorial Road
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z2

February 24, 2022

Dear President Stephen J. Toope,

I am writing to you regarding the upcoming Srdja Trifkovic lecture, hosted by University of British Columbia’s Serbian Student’s Club.

You’ve heard all of the arguments by now. There’s no need for me to repeat them. But I must underline the following: allowing a known genocide denier to speak at UBC is the equivalent of allowing a Holocaust denier to speak there. You’d never be allowed to get away with the latter. If you choose to allow Trifkovic to speak today, you will be held accountable for it. Please don’t allow it to happen.

The first link includes material from my interview with Toronto resident Fadil Kulasic, a survivor of three different Serb-run detention centres, including the infamous Omarska and Manjaca death camps. Fadil and others like him were directly affected by the ethnic cleansing (a euphemism for genocide) that took place during the Bosnian war. People like Trifkovic continue to harm these survivors with their hate speech and genocide denial.

When people like Fadil Kulasic and their children come to you in the future and ask you why you allowed a genocide denier to speak at your academic institution, what will you tell them? How will you be able to look them in the eye?

The recently-created Facebook page “Prevent Srebrenica Genocide Denier Srdja Trifkovic from Lecturing at UBC” was meant as a forum for supporters of this initiative. It quickly turned into a forum for supporters of Trifkovic. And if you look at the words of his supporters, you’ll quickly understand that this man is only capable of doing harm with his promotion of lies, hatred, and a basic denial for the right of existence of any ethnicity other than Serbian.

On this page, you can find two different supporters of Trifkovic, Boris Malagurski and Dragan Saponjic, who spew their hatred and genocide denial, filling the page with insults to various people. They both make fun of a young woman from Sarajevo who said that she lost her grandparents and other family members during the war. Saponjic even went as far as stating that this woman was lying, that none of what she said of her wartime suffering was true.

Saponjic told me that I was mistaken in believing that I was of Croatian descent, that whether I chose to believe it or not, I was a Serb. He went on to claim that there was no such thing as a “Croat” or “Bosniak” ethnicity, and that all people from these ethnic groups are Serbs who, at some point or other in history, chose to turn their backs on their true background.

There are laws against hate speech and genocide denial in Canada. Yet people like Malagurski and Saponjic couldn’t care less. They’re even proud to have the world witness their primitive barbarism on a public forum like Facebook.

This is the mindset of Trifkovic and his followers. To allow this man to speak at UBC will be of no value to you or your institution. It will only create great harm.

If you weren’t aware of Trifkovic and his work in the past, you most certainly are now. Please think twice before allowing him to speak today. If you choose to do so, you’ll be held accountable for this in the future.

Most Sincerely,

Suzana Vukic
Columnist, The Hudson/St.Lazare Gazette
Board Member, The Institute for Research of Genocide Canada

Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada