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Monday, 28 July 2014

Open letter to Slovenian media in relation to Balažic's revelations

Dear Slovenians,

We follow all articles and video reports in relation to the former ambassador in Australia Dr. Milan Balazic.

His statements have been changing and adjusting to fit his "stories" on a daily basis.

We, Australian Slovenians, were outraged when Nicholas Oman appeared at the opening of the consulate in Melbourne. We made written protests to the ministers and the government of the Republic of Slovenia as well as the Australian government and sent letters to Slovenian media and the Australian Slovenian radio program in the days immediately after the opening of the consulate, on 11th, 12th and 13th March 2014.

In the first week after the opening, Dr Balažic stated clearly on the SBS Radio that he met Nicholas Oman only twice at the Embassy in Canberra: when the man applied for his Slovenian passport and when he issued him with the passport. Oman's appearance at the opening was "mere coincidence", as his daughter did not respond to the invitation.

It is polite to respond to an invitation from the Embassy by confirming your arrival or by apologising. Oman's daughter did not do that; instead, her father just appeared - as he appeared on the "draft" guest list among other distinguished invitees and consular representatives. 

Ms Patricia Oman is not known among Slovenians in Australia. Many educated Slovenians of the second and third generation, however, are known (including doctors, surgeons, scientists, artists, lawyers, teachers, physicists, mathematicians, etc.) - they are distinguished and proud Slovenians who would equally deserve an invitation, but Derry Maddison as the new Honorary Consul for Victoria and Peter Mandelj who put together proposals for the guest list for Victoria decided to overlook them. They just blindly said yes please, as always. 

The former ambassador also claims that he sat at the table with Derry Maddison, the new Honorary Consul, Nicholas Oman and Peter Mandelj only for a minute. As photos show, the ambassador had lunch at their table. In his account on TVSLO Na tretjem... the former ambassador first tells us that he spent there just one short minute while waiting for his turn to make a speech (witnesses said he did not have a speech, only a short greeting) and then he says that the sausages were cold and stale! What an inconsistency! But nobody asks him how come that until now he has been telling a different story! Two conflicting statements in one breath.

In his accounts on other TVSLO channels, the former ambassador says that people in Australia became frightened as he, the ambassador, knew too much about arms dealings so they invented the story about Oman. Why would Slovenians invent a story abut Oman and his presence at the opening? Oman was there, what was there to invent!?!

The former ambassador who weeks ago publicly claimed he only met Nicholas Oman twice has now several times publicly admitted, including in his press conference, talks for the media and on TV, that they'd had contacts, talks and meetings since June 2013. They were even planning to travel to Slovenia together last Christmas!

And the oil fields! If the oil fields and Oman's participation in this affair were a diplomatic secret how could then Slovenians in Victoria know about all this and "become so frightened" to "invent" a story about him?

As to the "informal organisation of SDS party" in Australia, the former ambassador did not provide any evidence or members' names. To which part of the community in Australia does his claim refer? Who are the members? Where is any evidence of such an informal organisation?

If there are people who sympathise with this party, there is nothing wrong with this, this is democracy, right? What has sympathising individuals with any party in Slovenia to do with the former ambassador?

The Slovenian community is not divided to any parties. In this case our purpose was to react to the presence of Nicholas Oman at the opening of the consulate! We asked the former ambassador for an explanation but never received one.

Dr. Balažic now in Slovenia points out that he received honorary membership in Slovenian clubs and that there are Slovenians with spine in Australia who stood at his side. Well, yes, he did receive an honorary membership in the Slovenian Club Canberra which is one of the smaller Slovenian organisations in Australia. Regardless of its size, however, the decision to confer the honorary membership was made so much in advance that once the affair was under way the club president could no longer call it off. It was indeed given to him. In one club. At the same time, the former ambassador was no longer welcome in any club in Melbourne or in Sydney. Due to his lies and pretences the Slovenian community turned against him. Who are the former ambassador's friends in Australia now?

We are appalled by evidence provided in the last few weeks which showed that the former ambassador cooperated in the time of his service in Australia with a person who is well known in the world for his shadowy affairs. - He was offered blood money!!! The ambassador was negotiating and dealing with him. Moreover, he calls him a great patriot! If Nicholas Oman is such a generous patriot, how come that with the outbreak of this affair all his generosity fell through? Why did they have to negotiate his present to Slovenia?

The former ambassador is now blaming and shaming us, smearing our honesty and faith in justice! The community showed unity by signing the petition of non-confidence vote in the ambassador.

Do the Republic of Slovenia and its government not feel betrayed by all the accusations and hints made by the former ambassador?

The more we listen to all reports the clearer is becoming how from one lie so many new lies and false accounts have grown. Isn't it time for the Slovenian media to start checking his continuous claims rather than faithfully recording everything he says?

Yours sincerely,

Draga Gelt
With support from many Australian Slovenians



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