Theologians speak: Participants agreed that historical facts must the basis and guidelines for the current behavior of all. They demanded that more attention be given to cultural monuments in Stolac, especially the most valuable monument stacak necropolis in Radimlja. Emphasizing that archeological excavations should precede any construction work, the gathered experts appealed to the local authorities in Stolac (if they have any authority left) to consult the competent cultural institutions and experts before issuing permits for any construction work.
Distinguished theologians from Hercegovina, general vicar of Hercegovina bishopric Don Luka Pavlovic, and M.A. in history of Catholicism Don Ivica Puljic, and editor of the magazine "Church on Stone" Dr. Bozo Goluza, gave especially interesting talks.
Basing his talk on the archive material from Rome and Istanbul archives, Don Pavlovic emphasized that after the capture of Stolac by the Ottomans in 1471, many Catholic Christians who did not escape were forced to convert to Islam. He mentioned the first Ottoman population census from 1475-1477, when more than 6000 Croat Catholic households and only three Muslim households were recorded. He addressed the rule of the infamous sultan Selim who in 1516 organized the first large scale expulsion of Croats from Stolac, ordered that all Christian churches and crosses be demolished and banned their reconstruction. Don Pavlovic stressed that the Ottoman victory led to the construction of mosques on the foundations of churches all over Hercegovina and Bosnia. Despite everything, he emphasized that Catholics and Muslims can live next to each other provided that at the start of the third millennium mosques are not constructed on foundations of churches and the other way round.
"If there is no dialog in Stolac, the construction of a mosque on the foundations of a church will be a big problem because the Catholic Church is persecuted in this region," Don Pavlovic emphasized, adding that there will be peace in Stolac only if the mosque is built next to a church, and not on top of a church, which would only be a verification of historical crimes.
Talking about Stolac before the Ottoman occupation, Don Ivica Puljic asserted that in 533 the bishopric Sanazentrum was established in Stolac.
Relations between Christians and Muslims: Dr. Bozo Goluza talked about relations between Christians and Muslims. He cited the conversion of the church in the Northern Camp [sjeverni logor] in Mostar into a mosque as a proof that even today churches are being converted into mosques, while international representatives fail to even notice. Dr. Goluza expressed fear that the international community intends to use Croats in Stolac to pay its middle eastern debts.
At the end of the round table discussion, the participants condensed their talks into conclusions consisting of eight points. They presented data about Stolac before and after Ottoman occupation, coming from Rome and Istanbul archives. They quoted historians of Islam, who stated in their works that in 1519 on the foundations of a Christian church and over the nearby Christian cemetery a mosque was constructed and that in 1516 sultan Selim ordered destruction of churches and crosses and construction of mosques on their foundations.
The participants in the round table discussions condemned this act as a crime against humanity that placed the Christian civilization in Hercegovina in subordinate status and led to many centuries of persecution of Christians. They concluded that such crimes never expire even though "circumstances" prevent correction of injustice for many centuries. The participants of the round table discussions recognized that Muslims have the right to be given land for construction of a mosque, but that land should be found elsewhere. They demanded from the competent authorities that archeological work be conducted in order to find out the truth.
The participants demanded from the international community to support the truth and justice by enabling conduct of archeological research on the locale and to advocate peaceful solutions of problems between our nations, religions and cultures. They proposed to the local authorities to ban and prosecute individuals and groups who illegally encroached on the disputed locale and to refuse to issue construction permits without consultations with and agreement of experts for protection of cultural and natural heritage.
However, that dispute was only an introduction into a whole series of incidents. Thus, extremists destroyed 14 wooden crosses that were erected in April by the faithful from Stolac along the road between the town and the Krizevac hill near Stolac, commemorating suffering of Christ. The stone plaque commemorating April 6, 2001, the first pilgrimage of the faithful from Stolac to the old Krizevac city was destroyed on September 9. The same night someone destroyed the big wooden cross placed on the top of the Krizevac hill. The next victim of somebody's apparently limitless appetite for destruction were flags of the Croat nation. During the night between October 12 and 13, Croat flags were removed from the caffe bar Amigos, grocery store in Podgrad and motel Villa Ragusa. This shameful act took place only several hours after the October commemoration of Christ's Cavalry and holy mass celebrated on the Krizevac hill. The guard at the motel Villa Ragusa caught one of the vandals red handed. His name is Mustafa Turkovic, born on July 27, 1982 in Mostar and now a returnee to the Sotlac settlement Poplasici. All these shameful crimes have embittered and stirred ethnic Croats who interpret all of this as hatred of extremists and desire for domination. All of this prompted only lukewarm condemnation of those who were very noise and adamant when incidents provoked by Croats are concerned, especially the Sarajevo Association for Renewal of Civic Trust in the Stolac Municipality.