We have lived there for over 700 years. Our grandfathers fought for czechoslovakia in the second World War, they contributed to building it after the war and we were born there, we do not need to ask anyone summary humbly for our citizenship! The children of czech Romanies, born in Canada, acquire canadian citizenship automatically. That is how it should be even in the czech Republic. It the practice, adhered to by the czech courts which ignore international laws on human rights which will be the greatest obstacle for accepting the czech Republic into the european Union. Do you know that the czech constitution (Article 10) says that ratified international human rights covenants by which the czech Republic is bound, have preference before local law? Mr Pospíšil, you narrow the whole problem to the problem of Romany guilt. Those who know the problems existing between the romanies and the czechs, know that czech society must abandon its monocultural way of thinking and must adopt a multicultural way of thinking, like most of Western Europe.
The proposal that a functioning agricultural establishment should be moved elsewhere only because there used to be a concentration camp in the same place is wrong, stupid and unnecessary. There are many places trunk where people were tortured and killed and a memorial does not have to be exactly on the spot where crimes had happened. And also, the camp was not exactly on the spot of the pig farm. Or are we pagans and do we worship sacred places? With regards to the matiční Street problem where a wall was erected between antisocial, mostly romany population, non-payers of rent, and other tenants, jč, these non-rent payers were on the whole fraudulent parasites and criminals, who live off the taxes paid by other people.Would Erica. We have run away from people like you to canada. You should be given a study stay in Canada so that you and others like you would learn multiculturalism. With regards to the czech citizenship - you are comparing two incomparable things! We romanies are not foreigners, applying for czech citizenship!
I doubt whether anyone with a criminal record would be granted American citizenship. Those damned American racists - have you noticed how they infringe the human rights of those romanies who like to travel overseas? I am glad that our courts do not regard international human rights norms as part of their decision making and that they observe our - czech - laws. I am very glad that they are not imitating America where judges quite seriously deal even with demands for a million dollars´ damages for the psychological trauma experienced by a child who in Disneyland entered the actors´ changing room and discovered that a mickey mouse. As far as the romany exodus is concerned, i am afraid that it is these romany exiles who created artificially all the international criticism aimed at czech "racism". But since the western countries are quickly introducing visas against the citizens of Central Europe, this shows that Romanies are not a welcome export. The lety concentration camp controversy is an artificial journalistic bubble. There is a pig farm on the grounds of former concentration camp in Lety in the czech Republic, where many romanies died during the second world war,.
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Because canada is handwriting a multicultural society and all citizens have the right to start from the same level playing field. This year, the czech Romanies in Canada want to stop relying on social secuurity and want to set up their own businesses: in the construction industry, in fast food and in setting up restaurants. Why do romanies festival leave the czech Republic? The exodus is caused by an unfavourable political situation, not by social problems, as most czechs think. The unfavourable political situation is accompanied by the degeneration of morals, lack of respect for law, growing economic criminality - the hatred of most citizens against Romanies is a consequence of all that. "This us government spokesperson is racist". In, britské listy of, josef Pospíšil reacted in this way to the views expressed at the forum: Erica Schlager´s speech is naive, affected, manipulative, one-sided, ridicuously full of pathos, alibistic and Romo-populist.
Of course, it is also politically correct. The law on acquiring czech citizenship does not contain a single reference to the romany ethnic group. But the law did use to contain limitations regarding citizens with a criminal record. If Ms Schlager wants to tell us that this is racist, she herself is racist because she is slandering the romany minority, maintaning that the romany minority consists primarily of criminals. She could use the same logic and argue that if dirty people, people infested with lice, or drunk people are banned from visiting public baths, such a regulation is racist. It is also strange that we are being criticised by an employee of a state the us which is almost hysterically careful when screening tourists who want to visit America, not speaking about the granting of American citizenship.
Her contribution was published in czech and in English. Another person, testifying at the forum, was Karolina bánomová, a czech Romany who has been granted asylum in Canada. Her talk was published. Britské listy in czech here. Here is an English summary of her talk: Karolina bánomová: An Association of czechoslovak romanies in Canada was founded in August 1998 as an independent organisation. It is our task to preserve romany tradition, language, folk lore, culture, our identity and our values, cultivated for centuries.
There are now some 1500 Romanies from the czech Republic in Canada. All of them have been given refugee status, next year we will apply for Canadian citizenship. We are accommodating ourselves very well to local conditions. Most Romany children are doing very well at school, they have no problems with English. Several Romany girls are studying at university and many children go to secondary school and have good academic e accomodation of the romanies is at a high level. The romanies do not destroy their housing nor do they have problems with their neighbours. There is no romany crime. Romanies in Canada do not create any particular problems.
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We would be very interested in hearing cer readers´ reactions on this question, especially reactions to the arguments, tabled by josef Pospíšil. If you write in, Britské listy will publish your contributions in czech. Send your contributions in here. Czech Romany testifies in New restaurant York. On 17th April, 2000, a forum for dialogue, discussing the situation of Romanies in the czech Republic, took place at Columbia university in New York. The forum was jointly organised by The czech Center, new York, the east European Center, columbia university, the public essay Interest Law Initiative and the centre for the Study of Human Rights. The forum was addressed by Erica. Schlager, a specialist in international law for the us helsinki commission.
the czech population as an official confirmation that their racist attitude towards the romanies is correct: "look they argue, "if Western government do their utmost to keep the romanies out, there must really be something wrong with them. And if the western governments chastise us for our alleged racism, they are absolutely hypocritical - after all, they are behaving in exactly the same way as we are.". The czech internet daily, britské listy has recently raised this issue again, of relations between the romanies and the czechs, publishing a highly emotional exchange of views. Hereby, we summarise this exchange. For me, as the editor. Britské listy, it was a shocking realisation to witness, on the basis of reactions sent. Britské listy, that Mr Josef Pospíšil´s One of the orginal conrbitutors to this exchange, ed views seem to enjoy a wide support in the czech Republic. Britské listy has received approximately three times as many letters supporting Mr Pospíšil´s views, as compared to the letters condemning his views. (Those readers who have condemned Mr Pospíšil´s views mostly reside outside the czech Republic.) czech readers who support Mr Pospíšil´s views find his argumentation persuasive and civilised, while the arguments raised by karolina bánomová, a czech Romany immigrant to canada, have been condemned by them.
But, or so it would appear, the majority czech community seems to be incapable of reflecting the plight of the romany minority. Czechs seem to be incapable of assuming any other point of view than their own - they hippie refuse to try to picture themselves in the position of Romanies in the czech society: they insist that all the problems that the romanies might be suffering from. It is the romanies who will have to "grow up" and simply accept czech social and civilisational values. Needless to say, such an attitude creates an impasse. It is very unlikely that the czech-Romany problem will be solved in the near future, if the majority czech society does not rapidly change its attitudes. The czech government should be doing much more than it does at the moment, presently it just reluctantly follows the recommendations of Western organisations, while at the same time pandering to the overtly racist attitudes of many czechs. Czech prejudices are, in many ways, confirmed and strengthened by the disgraceful way in which the countries of Western Europe have reacted to the romanies, applying for political asylum in the west. Most of the countries of the west have closed their doors to the romany applicants, some of them have even imposed visas on travellers from some post-Communist countries, such as Slovakia, from which many romanies tried to emigrate to the west.
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It would appear that the relationship between the czechs and the romanies is much more complex than it is usually assumed and that it will possibly take a long time before this traumatic problem, one of the worst problems plaguing the current post-Communist czech Republic. It seems that a large proportion of the czech population is seriously biased against the romanies and they are not ready to give them the benefit of the doubt or to accord them normal human dignity when referring to them. There are a number of reasons for this, one of them being that modern czech society, as it arose during the times of the "Czech national revival" in the 19th century, defined itself defensively against the outside (mostly germanic) world as a narrow, homogeneous, enclosed. The feelings of a close-knit community movie were strengthened during the decades of Communism. The communist regime used inherent czech nationalism to create xenophobic attitudes towards anyone who came from the outside world and/or who differed in any significant way from the accepted "collective" way of behaving within the "nation.". While it is true that many members of the roma community in the czech Republic behave in what the czechs see as an anti-social way. The romanies are a deeply scarred ethnic group: a seriously traumatised community whose originally "nomadic" way of life has turned out to be incompatible with the demands and the norms of modern European living. It could be said that many romanies are reacting in a hostile, indeed almost pathological way to the demands of the majority czech society: when allocated public housing, they often destroy it; many romanies choose to live in squalor and to support themselves by petty.