Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Time to ride?

I don’t often post on the political situation here in Bosnia and Herzegovina but when I saw this article today I had to make some kind of comment. It quotes Milorad Dodik, prime minister of Bosnia's Serb-dominated entity of Republika Srpska, from a column published on Monday in Austrian daily Der Standard as saying: “Some countries accept that the people of Bosnia must be allowed to self-manage. Others seem to fear that when the training wheels of this international experiment are removed, "the bicycle" might fall over together with the child. But Bosnia and Herzegovina is now 15 years old. Is it not the time to give it a try?”

He is explaining his argument for the closure of the Office of the High Representative (OHR). I can see how what could be seen as a babysitter for the international community could be seen as patronizing. However I’ve done a fair bit of mountain bike instruction over the years with young people aged 11-15. You learn that some riders can be surprisingly competent at this age but others are a danger to themselves. I remember picking a chubby kid up off the ground, blood pouring from his chin and a chunk missing from his helmet. “He’s unlucky with bikes” was his mother’s response. The truth was he didn’t listen to instructions.

Opinion is divided on how long the OHR should remain open. The ‘training wheels’ do need to come off at some point but when depends on when those with the power to say so decide that the rider really wants to ride and isn’t going to end up in a bloody and broken mess. The jury is still out on that one.

2 comments:

Postgate said...

Very well put.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

I hadn't seen this article. Thanks for this. I also have a post brewing about the international community here... it is the topic du jour here.

hope you had a great time in the UK! Did you eat mango chutney and hot curries? Did you have Thai food? I'm torturing myself.