MINELRES: Romania: Bulletin DIVERS on Ethnic Minorities - 6 (134)/2005

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Mon Feb 21 22:01:45 2005


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Divers Bulletin no. 6 (134) / February 21, 2005

News
PRESIDENTS OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN USA PAY A VISIT TO ROMANIA 
AUTONOMY ISSUE, STILL DISPUTED BY ETHNIC HUNGARIANS IN ROMANIA
HUNGARIAN LEADER ADVERTISES THE GREAT HUNGARY ON THE TRUNK OF HIS CAR
TUBERCULOSIS CONTROL IN ETHNIC ROMA COMMUNITIES 
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News

PRESIDENTS OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN USA PAY A VISIT TO ROMANIA 

BUCHAREST - During February 14-16, a delegation formed of over 50
presidents of the Jewish communities in the United States paid a
historical visit to Romania and Bulgaria on the occasion of the annual
conference of the presidents of the organization, holding debates in
Israel.
This was a good opportunity for responding to the invitation of the
Romanian President and the Bulgarian Prime Minister to visit the two
countries, informs a release signed by the president of the Association,
quoted by the Israeli daily "Our life". 
"Our visit represents an opportunity for American Jews to show their
appreciation towards the support offered to the United States of America
by Bulgaria and Romania, given the friendly relations between Israel and
the two key-states", informs the press declaration.
The conference of the presidents of Major Jewish American Associations
is an organization that convenes the heads of 52 Jewish organizations in
the United States of America, representing one of the most important and
active non-governmental organizations in the USA.
The delegation led by James Tisch, head of the Conference of Jewish
American Organizations Presidents, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive
vice-president of this conference, includes businessmen and scientists.
The guests met Monday, February 14, with the members of the Jewish
Communities Federation in Romania, at Coral Temple in Bucharest, where
the rabbi’s religious service was performed, followed by several
declarations on Holocaust. "We will never forget what happened, we will
remember everything so that people should learn about it and make sure
that it would never happen again ", stated Osy Lazar, president of Jews
Community in Bucharest, during his speech. He thanked the presidents of
the Jewish Communities in USA for their presence to the Coral Temple,
stressing that their support would be very important for the Jews in
Romania.
A special moment of the festivity was the lighting of six candles in the
memory of the victims of the Holocaust by James Tisch, president of the
Confederation of Major Jewish Organizations in America.
Chief Rabbi Hakoen Menahem, who also attended the religious service at
Coral Synagogue, stated that the guests from the United States
"represent the spine of Jewish communities in USA" and that everybody
wants to "bring the Jews together, to save each Jewish soul ". Before
the end of the festivity, marked by chanting the national anthems of
Romania and Israel (Hatihva), James Tisch thanked for the invitation to
Romania in the name of the American delegation. 
Furthermore, Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu said he placed great
importance on teaching “exact knowledge” of the Holocaust. He praised
the work of an international panel of experts that issued a 400-page
report in November, which concluded that Romanian authorities were
responsible for the deaths of 280,000 to 380,000 Jews and more than
11,000 Roma (Gypsies) during World War II.
Tariceanu also assured the Jewish delegation that he would encourage the
implementation of legislation to enable restitution of Jewish communal
property. 
Author: DIVERS


AUTONOMY ISSUE, STILL DISPUTED BY ETHNIC HUNGARIANS IN ROMANIA

BUCHAREST - The National Szekler Council (CNS) that met Saturday,
February 12 in Gheorgheni (central Romania), adopted three letters
addressed to the Prime Minister of Hungary, Gyurcsany Ferencz, to the
President of Romania, Traian Basescu, and to the Government of Romania,
requesting support in their struggle for the territorial autonomy of
Szeklers County. CNS also appealed Hungarian Democratic Federation of
Romania (UDMR) president and the parliamentarians within the Szekler
County Union to file the territorial autonomy draft to the Parliament. 
CNS vice-president, Ferencz Csaba has said that, unless UDMR
parliamentarians agree with this request, CNS Standing Committee will
make a decision regarding the modality to file the law draft. In June
2004, Senate rejected a bill on the Autonomy Status of Szecklers County,
initiated by several UDMR deputies, as it only got 12 “pros”. The bill
was also rejected in April 2004 by the Chamber of Deputies.
As reply, on Monday, February 14, UDMR deputy Marton Arpad declared that
the Union would file its own bill on autonomy, instead of the National
Szecklers County’s (CNS). "CNS law draft has already been rejected by
Parliament, as it was full of errors, so there is no reason for filing
it one more time. This does not mean that UDMR does not want to
collaborate with civic organizations, but we want to file our own law
draft. After finalizing it, we will consult Hungarian civic
organizations before filing it to the Parliament", said Marton Arpad.
He says that UDMR has already established the bases of autonomy, given
that from the four forms of autonomy, three are already present in the
governmental program, respectively the autonomy of the local public
administration, cultural autonomy and regional autonomy by the
reorganization of the development regions. As regards territorial
autonomy, including that of Szecklers County, UDMR MP said that the
Union gave up that desideratum, but they should enact a special law or
modify the Constitution. 
Author: DIVERS


HUNGARIAN LEADER ADVERTISES THE GREAT HUNGARY ON THE TRUNK OF HIS CAR

BUDAPEST - Former Hungarian PM and current leader of the opposition,
Viktor Orban, is unrepentant about advertising his patriotic feelings
with pasting on his own car the map of the Greater Hungary [at its 1914
borders], Hungarian press reported.
Orban was often criticized for his nationalist stance. A Hungarian
televisions station followed Orban s car while he was driving through
Miskolc town and took a close-up of the Greater Hungary map pasted on
the trunk of his car. 
A wave of comments and emotions were triggered in Budapest, after the
images were broadcast. The comments were amplified by the fact that the
same images were then made available over the Internet. The political
debate which ensued parted the politicians in Budapest in two camps: on
the one hand the far-right, represented by Jobbik party, congratulated
Orban, on the other hand the center-right severely criticized him.
The right leaning "Nepszava" daily called the map as the symbol of
revisionism which adorns Orban's car. Orban was unrepentant: his
spokesperson said on his behalf that "there is no shame in recognizing
the past greatness of Hungary and be proud of the cultural values of
that time which we inherited."
The new scandal irrupted shortly after the one triggered by the
broadcast, in Romania, of the Hungarian-made "Trianon" documentary. Two
months before a referendum, which Orban s party supported, failed. It
attempted to grant Hungarian citizenship to the over three million
Hungarian ethnics living in the neighboring countries.
Author: DIVERS


TUBERCULOSIS CONTROL IN ETHNIC ROMA COMMUNITIES 

BUCHAREST - A social project for struggling tuberculosis in ethnic Roma
communities from Bucharest was launched Wednesday, February 16, at the
headquarters of District 6 City Hall, Bucharest.
District 6 City Hall of together with Bucharest Public Health Department
and Romani Criss Organization want to start this campaign within the
project ''Improvement of tuberculosis control at the high risk groups of
population''. The project has already been implemented in four pilot
counties of the country, respectively Galati, Calarasi, Tulcea and
Giurgiu, and will also be put into practice in the capital. 
The target group of the project is represented by the people suffering
from tuberculosis in the ethnic Roma communities, their families and the
healthy ethnic Roma population in danger of getting infected with
tuberculosis. The promoters of the project aim firstly to trace the sick
persons and direct them to get adequate treatment, and in the future
they also aim to guarantee free treatment of the disease. 
Romani Criss Organization has already trained six sanitary mediators in
the area of tuberculosis prevention, for developing their activity in
district 6 in this respect. 
Author: DIVERS

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