A gala ceremony was held in Banjaluka on the occasion of the Republika Srpska Day and patron saint – St. Archdeacon Stephen, the First Christian Martyr, and was opened by playing national anthems of Republika Srpska and Serbia, Moja Republika and Boze pravde, and a moment of silence for the victims of the homeland war. The ceremony was attended by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik, Prime Minister of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic, Republika Srpska Prime Minister Zeljka Cvijanovic, Speaker of the Republika Srpska National Assembly Nedeljko Cubrilovic and Serb member of the BiH Presidency Mladen Ivanic. Prior to the ceremony, PM Cvijanovic welcomed the delegation of the Serbian Government headed by Prime Minister Vucic at the Banjaluka Airport, and the meeting between Dodik and the Serbian delegation was held in the Palace of Republika Srpska.
Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that the cooperation between Republika Srpska and Serbia was at a very high level and expressed hope that it would remain as such.
He stated in Banjaluka that the Republika Srpska Day is celebrated with a clear message that it is dedicated to the freedom of all people living in Srpska. His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia wished Republika Srpska to celebrate the holy day – January 9, the Republika Srpska Day, for long time and the Serb people to survive and feel like fully free nation.
Matija Beckovic, an academician, has said that Republika Srpska is a grand structure made by people, whose protector and patron saint is Saint Stephen – the saint who preached love and equality for all. “God knows whether Saint Stephen has chosen Repubika Srpska or Republika Srpska chose Saint Stephen” said Beckovic, recalling that this saint was the protector and patron of Serbia during Nemanjic dinasty.
Source: SRNA/The Srpska Times