MINELRES: Romania: Divers bulletin on ethnic minorities, no. 20 (148)

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Divers Bulletin no. 20 (148) / May 30, 2005

News
GOVERNMENT APPROVES ETHNIC MINORITIES LAW
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT DENOUNCES “INHUMAN TREATMENT” AGAINST THE
ETHNIC ROMA MEMBERS
NEW PROGRAM FOR ETHNIC ROMA AT THE END
NATIONAL MINORITIES TO GIVE THE AUTO EXAM IN THEIR MOTHER TONGUE
HUNGARIAN LEADER BOOED BY CROWD
AROMANIANS ORGANISATION SEEKS NATIONAL MINORITIES STATUS
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News

GOVERNMENT APPROVES ETHNIC MINORITIES LAW

BUCHAREST – Ethnic minorities will be able to study in their native
languages at all education levels, starting with kindergarten and
including schools, high schools and universities, according to draft
legislation on national minorities approved last week by the government.
The state must guarantee mother tongue education in separate
institutions or separate groups. New classes can be set up with a
maximum of 10 children for kindergarten, primary school and middle
schools and up to 15 students for high school and for artistic and
vocational schools. In addition, exams can be taken in the mother
tongue.
Minorities will receive funds from the state and local budget to create
educational institutions in their native language.
Religious groups can also become involved in education in minority
languages. The legislation also says the authorities are to take into
account the will of a minority in all discussions concerning their
rights. Legislative or administrative measures which can change the
ethnic mixture of any particular region are forbidden.
Minorities also have the right to set up cultural associations and
promote their culture abroad. Public TV and radio stations can provide
space for shows in minorities' languages.
According to the draft legislation, the officially recognised minorities
in Romania are the Albanian, Armenian, Bulgarian, Czech, Croat, Greek,
Jewish, German, Italian, Macedonian, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Roma,
Serbian, Slovakian, Tatar, Turkish and Ukrainian communities.
In related development, opposition leader Adrian Nastase wrote a letter
to Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu regarding the draft law for
national minorities.
Nastase wrote that the government did not manage to make a correct
analysis of the draft's consequences and also accused the Tariceanu's
Cabinet of not consulting the opposition on the matter.
He further said that the draft law does not allow the possibility of
other national minorities to officially register in Romania and set up
their own organizations.
Author: DIVERS

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT DENOUNCES “INHUMAN TREATMENT” AGAINST THE
ETHNIC ROMA MEMBERS

BUCHAREST – The inhuman treatment from some representatives of the
authorities – sometimes leading to torture – was an widely spread
phenomenon in Romania, some of the affected people being suspects,
psychiatry patients or ethnic Roma, informs the report of Amnesty
International (AI) on last year, published on May 25.
In the report for 2004 regarding Romania – present on the site of the
organization – the AI activists claim the Romanian policemen used the
gun-fires under the circumstances they are banned by the international
standards, killing at least two people and injuring other tens persons.
On the other hand, the detention conditions were sometimes inhuman and
degrading, existing information according to which the prisoners were
maltreated, informs the cited document. The report also shows that many
of the victims of policemen’s treatment and of their gun-fire were
ethnic Roma, suffering from the security guards registered at the local
authorities. According to the European Centre for Ethnic Roma Rights and
Association "Tumende" in Jiul Valley, Bela Dodi died after having been
beaten on March 11 by security guards of a private company, at a mine in
Vulcan (Hunedoara county). Bela Dodi and other four ethnic Roma were
gathering scrap iron and the guards caught them in the act and attacked
them.
Trying to escape, Bela Dodi fell and died instantly. The other four were
brought to the hospital by emergency to be medically treated.
In November 2003, the employees of the same security firm were accused
of having beaten Olga David, 42 years old ethnic Roma woman who died
following the blows she received, also say AI representatives.
Author: DIVERS

NEW PROGRAM FOR ETHNIC ROMA AT THE END

BUCHAREST – Program of the United Nations for Development (PNUD) along
with the Government Secretariat General and National Agency for Ethnic
Roma organized on Monday, May 23, the official closing of the program
"Activities of implementing and monitoring the strategy to improve
ethnic Roma status - 2004". Considered by the organizers as a real
success, the initiative supposed the financing of 17 projects within
which communities of ethnic Roma "enjoyed" the rehabilitation of the
schools and kindergartens as well as revenue-generating activities.
Around 8,000 ethnic Roma persons benefited from the results of the
projects concretized in the establishment of stoned and asphalted roads
in five localities and in connections to the drinking water, electric
energy, gas, sewerage in other four localities. Altogether, there were
renewed or built six social objectives (kindergarten, school, medical
clinic, cultural centre) as well as four productive units equipped with
production means using the labour force among the ethnic Roma persons.
The project also took into account the consolidation of the inter-ethnic
relations in the involved communities, through the establishment of
partnerships between the public local authorities, the associations and
the groups of initiative of the ethnic Roma.
On the other hand, at the finalization of the project, four groups of
initiative of the ethnic Roma registered as non-governmental
organizations, others undergoing a transformation process.
Attending the closing of the program, several mayors of localities where
programs have been developed as well as ethnic Roma leaders stressed out
the success of the program as well as its importance in improving the
life of some communities. Florin Banateanu, the chief of the
Social-Economic Department within PNUD and coordinator of the project
showed he was allotted ROL64 bn from the Government Secretariat General
and USD100.000 from PNUD. Nevertheless, the value of the 17 financed
projects increased to ROL57 bn, about 10 bn being connected expenses.
Author: DIVERS

NATIONAL MINORITIES TO GIVE THE AUTO EXAM IN THEIR MOTHER TONGUE

SFANTU GHEORGHE – Representatives of national minorities could give the
auto driving license exam in the mother tongue, stated on Friday, May
20, Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) senator Puskas
Balint. During a press conference, at Sfintu Gheorghe, the senator
claimed the new law on the traffic on the public roads will enable the
representatives of the national minorities to give the driving license
exam in the mother tongue. Puskas claims the new law might be published
in a couple of weeks in the Official Gazette.
He said that through introducing this regulation, it will no longer be
necessary the employment of new persons within the Service of auto
driving licenses and auto registrations that know the language of the
national minority as the tests are multiple choice ones. Previously,
Gyorgy Ervin, the prefect of Covasna county stated there are many
persons over 40 years old in the county, especially in the rural
environment, who do not give this exam as they are not familiar with the
Romanian language. "I daily hear about people who renounce giving the
exam as they are not familiar with the Romanian language. It is sad that
some people do not know the Romanian language as we live in Romania, but
these are real facts”, said Gyorgy.
Two weeks ago, the senators unanimously passed an Emergency Ordinance in
2002, by means of which the new regulations on the traffic on the public
roads are promoted, substantially amended against those included in the
Decree from 1966, in force until the issuance of this new law draft.
Considering the law draft is complying with the stipulations of the
Constitution in 1991, the text will be mediated as it was passed in
various forms by the Senate and by the Chamber of Deputies, being
subsequently sent for promulgation to the President of Romania.
Author: DIVERS

HUNGARIAN LEADER BOOED BY CROWD

TIRGU MURES - Thousands of people who attended a concert at the stadium
in Targu Mures' last week evening booed the leader of the Democratic
Hungarian Alliance, Marko Bela, who was scheduled to deliver a speech
before the event. Marko, whose party paid for the concert, was booed by
the anxious crowd, who shouted at the Hungarian leader, urging him to
get off stage.
Marko told reporters he did not even notice he was jeered. "People
probably don't like mixing politics with these concerts and I don't
think it's a tragedy," he said. 
Author: DIVERS

AROMANIANS ORGANISATION SEEKS NATIONAL MINORITIES STATUS

BUCHAREST - The Aromanian community has celebrated its national day,
marking 100 years since the Aromanian people were historically
recognized by a decree of Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid the Second.
The May 23 celebration has been acknowledged as the national day of
Aromanians everywhere in the world and it is currently also marked with
ceremonies in western European countries, the U.S., and Australia,
according to a press release from the community.
The National Day of Aromanians was celebrated in Romania for the first
time in May 1999 and gathered over 800 people.
As the community was stripped of most of the rights it was granted by
the Sultan during the Balkan wars in 1912 and 1923, a decision by the
Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly recommended that all Balkan
states where Aromanians live should ensure the community is able to use
its native language in schools, churches and media. In practice they
will consequently regain the same rights included in the Sultan's decree
in 1905.
The symbolism behind the May 23 celebration also refers to the
Aromanians' special affinity for the month of May and their
determination to enjoy all the rights granted to them in order to
maintain themselves as a separate community, according to the press
release.
Furthermore, the Aromanian community in Romania has started procedures
to obtain the status of national minority, which would grant it the
right to receive financial support from the state budget for various
activities.
The president of the Aromanian Community in Romania, Costica Canacheu,
told a press conference that his association has submitted several
requests to the authorities, but only two have been answered. 
Canacheu said he wants to obtain the status before the new law on
national minorities is passed, which would not allow recognition of
other communities in future other than the 19 minorities already
acknowledged by the Romanian state.
Author: DIVERS

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DIVERS - News bulletin about ethnic minorities living in Romania is
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