Prime Minister Janez Janša attended the state ceremony marking the Day of Uprising Against Occupation at Mala gora near Ribnica in the Dolenjska region. The Prime Minister took this opportunity to lay a wreath at the TIGR monument.
On 13 May 1941 at Mala gora near Ribnica, Danilo Zelen, Anton Majnik and Ferdo Kravanja fought an Italian patrol, which is considered to be the first battle with the occupying forces in World War II on Slovenian soil. The head of the unit Danilo Zelen was killed in battle, Ferdo Kravanja was wounded and captured but later escaped, and Anton Majnik managed to escape during the fighting.
The keynote speaker at the state celebration marking the Day of Uprising Against Occupation was President of the National Council Alojz Kovšca. He recalled that, in the battle with the Italian patrol, three members of the illegal organisation TIGR risked their lives in the name of freedom as the first fighters against Fascism and Nazism in what was a highly charged Europe at the time. According to him, they played an invaluable role and their contribution to freedom remained a secret for a number of years, as did the historical importance of the TIGR fighters. The President of the National Council said that the aspirations and efforts of the TIGR fighters can nowadays be connected to the Slovenian people’s calls for freedom and self-determination, stressing that “every nation has the elementary right to exist and express its national identity”. He said that as a small nation Slovenians must be aware that the fight for freedom goes on every moment all over the world and can become unpredictable tomorrow. He also said: “There is nothing wrong with Slovenians being divided in our worldviews, religions and life styles if only we are united in one thing: that the Slovenian nation is free and sovereign at its hearths.”
In his speech, he also touched on the current situation. “There are many words of hate, resentment and guilt among us. However, there are also words of pride, cooperation and integration that shine a brighter light on us, which is why we should look for them in our daily squabbles and quarrels. Our ancestors knew how to find light in the crucial dark and stormy moments. Let us do the same today. Let the Day of Uprising Against Occupation be a holiday of Slovenian stubbornness, bravery, rebellion, but also a holiday of light and peace. Let us celebrate it as one united nation, in the spirit of solidarity and tolerance, if not for anything else than for our brave ancestors.”
The mayor of Ribnica Municipality, Samo Pogorelec, gave a welcoming speech. Participants in the cultural programme were Mojca Krajnc, as the presenter, the Brass Quintet of the Police Orchestra, the Gallus Octet, Darja Gajšek, Ivo Ban, Pavle Ravnohrib and Roman Končar. The Slovenian Guards Unit and the Brass Quintet of the Police Orchestra participated in the protocol ceremony.