MINELRES: Romania: Bulletin DIVERS on Ethnic Minorities - 28 (156)/2005

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Tue Jul 26 15:16:45 2005


Original sender: Divers Bulletin <edivers_buletin-admin@mediafax.ro>


Divers Bulletin no. 28 (156) / July 25, 2005
News

HOUSES OF ROMA IN CENTRAL ROMANIA TRASHED FOLLOWING A CONFLICT

NATIONAL AGENCY FOR ETHNIC ROMA HAS A NEW CHIEF

ARAD CITY HALL AIMS TO EXPAND THE PARK OF ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN RECONCILIATION

MPs, HUNGARIAN OFFICIAL PROMOTE THE AUTONOMY OF THE SZEKLER’S COUNTY

TEACHERS TO BE TRAINED AGAINST DISCRIMINATION 

GOVERNMENT ENACTS THE BILL ON THE CULTS LAW


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

News

HOUSES OF ROMA IN CENTRAL ROMANIA TRASHED FOLLOWING A CONFLICT

SIBIU – Several houses of ethnic Roma living in commune Seica Mare from Sibiu 
(central Romania) were trashed during the night of Sunday July 18, by a couple 
of tens men armed with clubs, pitchforks and axes. According to eye-witnesses, 
the attackers trashed everything they met in their way, from colour TVs to 
windows and tiles on the dwellings.
Following a spontaneous scandal arisen between the villagers and the ethnic 
Roma in the locality, two persons were given emergency medical care. Eye-
witnesses said the entire conflict burst after a fight between six ethnic Roma 
and two young Romanians, all with the domicile in Seica Mare. They met in the 
evening, at one of the discotheques in the locality and subsequent to a rough 
discussion, they started the fight. "The ethnic Roma started the fight and 
during the scandal, they broke the hand of one of us. They ran to their houses. 
After they crossed the railway, they started to curse and to throw stones at 
us. Finally, around 2.30, about 60 men with clubs and axes gathered and we went 
to their homes. We did not find anyone as they had all left. In one of the 
houses they found an old man and out of spite, they beat him. We saw they took 
him by Ambulance. The gendarmes came as it was impossible to calm down the 
people. They took declarations from all and they are now looking for the ethnic 
Roma", said a young man witness of the fight. 
On the other hand, the representatives of the Police County Inspectorate said 
this is not a racist conflict and the entire story took place on the background 
of the spontaneous scandal at the discotheque in the village. 
The inhabitants said that if the Police takes no measure against the young 
ethnic Roma, the scandal might re-burst out of revenge or out of the 
inhabitants desire to teach "a lesson" to the ethnic Roma families involved in 
the scandal. 
Finally, the conflict was mediated by Roma leader Florin Cioaba. He asked the 
Roma people not to seek revenge and let the authorities do their job. "I asked 
our brothers not to do the same thing as those who destroyed their houses did. 
There is a law, and the police and the gendarmes will make justice. (...) I 
hope our Roma people will be wise and not answer to challenges," Cioaba said, 
adding it was not fair for innocent people to pay for what other Roma people 
did. "Those who are guilty, whether Romanians or Roma, have to pay for what 
they did," he said. Cioaba said this was not the first time a conflict between 
Romanians and Roma took place in Seica Mare, as 14 years ago, a Roma was killed 
and several houses of the Roma community were set on fire. Police agents and 
gendarmes patrol every night on Seica Mare's streets, at the local authorities 
request, to maintain order. 
Author: DIVERS


NATIONAL AGENCY FOR ETHNIC ROMA HAS A NEW CHIEF

BUCHAREST – Premier’s Decision 391, published on July 19, released Ilie Dinca 
from the position of president of National Agency for Ethnic Roma. A subsequent 
decision, namely number 392, stipulates the new ANR chief is Mariea Ionescu. 
Both normative acts were published in the Official Gazette. Mariea Ionescu is 
the former chief of the Unit for Projects Implementation within ANR and co-
author with Sorin Cace, of the volume "Practici positive in comunitatile de 
rromi" (Practices in the ethnic Roma communities), published by the Agency of 
Joint Communitarian Development. 
Author: DIVERS


ARAD CITY HALL AIMS TO EXPAND THE PARK OF ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN RECONCILIATION

ARAD – City hall representatives in Arad (western Romania) intends to expand 
the Park of Romanian-Hungarian Reconciliation in the upcoming years, finalized 
last year’s fall, the project targeting the demolition of various private 
houses.
The vice-mayor Levente Bognar stated on Tuesday, July 19, the municipality will 
allot important funds from the local budget to purchase some very old private 
buildings, which are now delimitating one of the sides of the park. The project 
of the city hall stipulates the doubling of the current area of the Park of 
Reconciliation and the establishing of a hotel near this Park, for the visiting 
tourists. "Works were already started at a sportive hotel, which were 
subsequently abandoned, reason for which the project will be continued with 
funds from the budget or in partnership with private firms", said Levente 
Bognar. Through the expansion of the park, the local authorities want to 
integrate the Water Tower into the cultural circuit, namely a building 
constructed back in 1896, 47 meters high. The value of the works to plan the 
Park of Romanian Hungarian Reconciliation, finalized last year’s fall, rose to 
over ROL130 bn, ROL100 bn of which were allotted by the Government to build the 
Arch of Triumph, a symbol of the revolutionaries in Transylvania since 1848. 
Next to the Arch of Triumph, the Statue of Liberty could also be met in the 
park, monument of the ethnic Hungarians symbolising the revolution from 1848-
1849. 
Established inArad in 1880, at the commemoration of the execution of 13 anti-
Hapsburg revolutionary generals from 1848 and then disassembled in 1924, the 
Statue of Liberty was relocated in the city with the funds gathered from the 
ethnic Hungarian community, the works exceeding EUR400,000. .
Besides the two monuments, both 13 meters high, the artistic complex includes a 
water basin as well as a port-flag for the flags of the European Union, Romania 
and Hungary, on the top of which water sources spring out into the basin. The 
monuments have 18 reflectors with photo-sensitive cells, so that they start 
automatically at dawn, and the park is paved with granite of different colours, 
which delimitates the access alleys. 
Author: DIVERS


MPs, HUNGARIAN OFFICIAL PROMOTE THE AUTONOMY OF THE SZEKLER’S COUNTY

BUCHAREST – Democratic Alliance of ethnic Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) deputy 
Garda Dezso and senator Sogor Csaba submitted on July 19, at the Standing 
Bureau of the Chamber, a legislative initiative on declaring the autonomy of 
the Szeckler’s County, through establishing a new self-administration 
institution and through settling the ethnic Hungarian language as the official 
tongue of the county.
The initiative of the two UDMR parliamentarians stipulates the current limits 
of the Szeckler’s County, namely the counties Harghita and Covasna, with a 
historic seat in Mures. Thus, the Szeckler’s County might become an autonomous 
region, with juridical framework inside Romania. According to the normative act 
proposed by the parliamentarians of the Union, the regional autonomy is shown 
and takes places through the Board of Trustees, executorial institution, chosen 
through universal vote, directly and freely expressed. This Council might be 
made up of councillors chosen on a period of four years. The region might be 
represented by its own president, designated through free and general 
elections. In the Szeckler’s County, the ethnic Hungarian tongue has the same 
statute as the official tongue of the state. The county will be divided into 
seats, as a historic administrative unit of the Szecklers, which will be led by 
regional and local authorities. According to the initiators, the law draft does 
not bring prejudice "either to Romania’s territorial integrity or to the 
national sovereignty". 
In related news, the leader of Hungarian opposition party FIDESZ, Viktor Orban, 
said his party still supports the idea of double citizenship for Hungarians 
living abroad, during a press conference held in the mountain resort of Baile 
Tusand in Harghita County. 
Orban, who is also the former Prime Minister of Hungary, stated that FIDESZ 
believes Transylvania and the Szekler Counties must become self-ruling regions, 
as this could be the best solution for solving the national minorities' 
problems. According to Orban, the Hungarian government should initiate 
negotiation with Hungarian associations in the countries nearby, so the double 
citizenship issue could be solved as soon as possible.
Orban announced the Bishop Laszlo Tokes intends to discuss the draft related to 
national minorities with the President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians 
in Romania, Marko Bela. "The draft has some flaws, but it could be improved 
with serious debate", said Orban. 
After the meeting on Saturday, the President of the Hungarian Civic Union 
(UCM), Szasz Jeno, said that 78 percent of those who live in the Szekler 
Counties believe the territorial autonomy issue to me more important than EU 
accession. "Without territorial autonomy there is no future for us, said Jeno. 
At the end of June, the UCM leaders decided to send a letter to Pope Benedict 
XVI, asking for his support in the fight for autonomy. The Union also sent 
similar requests to prime ministers of EU member states, in a move designed to 
mitigate the consequences of the 1919 Trianon Treaty by guaranteeing autonomy 
for national minorities. The head of the Union in Sfantu Gheorghe, Gazda 
Zoltan, said he wanted these provisions to be a condition for Romania's EU 
accession. 
Representatives of the Union also discussed the national minorities' law and 
suggested that it should grant territorial autonomy to the National Szekler 
County and personal and cultural autonomy to the National Council of Hungarians 
in Transylvania. 


TEACHERS TO BE TRAINED AGAINST DISCRIMINATION 

BUCHAREST - The delegation of the European Commission in Romania and the 
Education Ministry will launch a program to train teachers on how to treat each 
child without discrimination in schools, regardless of their ethnic origins, 
the area they live, financial status of family or health issues.
The program, worth over 11 million euros, will be subsidized by EU Phare funds 
and will be initially introduced in 11 counties: Alba, Bacau, Braila, Covasna, 
Harghita, Ialomita, Mures, Maramures, Neamt, Sibiu and Valcea. It may later be 
extended to Botosani and Iasi. 
The program's main purpose is to support Roma people's access to education, as 
well as to help children with special educational needs or socio-economic 
disadvantages to have access to education without any kind of discrimination. 
The head of the European Commission's delegation, Jonathan Scheele, said the 
program aims to bring a relationship of trust to schools and improve 
communication between teachers, children and parents. The EU official said he 
hopes the authorities will get involved in this project so such problems can be 
solved and avoided in the future. 
"Unfortunately, not all the commitments made by the local authorities for 
supporting such activities were applied in all counties during this program," 
Scheele said. 
Education Minister Mircea Miclea said all children should have equal chances to 
education, despite all costs. General Manager in the Education Ministry, 
Liliana Preoteasa, said there are many situations in which teachers allow 
children with special needs or those who come from poor families to join their 
classes, but usually place them at the back of the class. Preoteasa said such 
habits have to be eliminated and asked all the population to say if they find 
out about such discrimination actions. 
"Teachers can not be punished for not allowing a child with HIV/AIDS to enter 
their classrooms; they have to be educated, as punishments do not change 
mentalities," said Education Ministry state secretary, Paloma Petrescu. This 
program is a continuation of the Phare project launched in 2002 whose purpose 
was to subsidize access to education for disadvantaged groups, especially Roma 
people. 
Author: DIVERS


GOVERNMENT ENACTS THE BILL ON THE CULTS LAW

BUCHAREST – On July 14 session, the government passed the bill on the cults’ 
law, in the draft authorized by the traditional ethnic Hungarian churches, as a 
result of further consultations with UDMR. 
The law ensures the autonomy of the churches and enables the establishment at 
all levels of the confessional education, with subsidies from the state, this 
last stipulation being without precedent in the past 85 years. 
Altogether, the law recognizes the churches as a social partner, in other 
words, from now on, it will support not only their liturgical activity but the 
social and charitable ones as well. 
Author: DIVERS


DIVERS - News bulletin about ethnic minorities living in Romania is edited 
every week by MEDIAFAX, with the financial support of King Baudouin Foundation, 
Belgium and Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Center. Partial or full 
reproduction of the information contained in DIVERS is allowed only if the 
source is mentioned. You can send messages and suggestions regarding the 
content of DIVERS bulletin at MEDIAFAX, Str. Tudor Arghezi, Nr. 3B, Sector 2 - 
Bucharest, tel: 021/ 305.31.91 or at the e-mail address: divers@mediafax.ro 
Powered by: 1 X Tech


---------------------------------------------
This message was sent using Endymion MailMan.
http://www.endymion.com/products/mailman/ http://www.microlink.com/