Good morning and Happy International Day of Roma!
Lačho džives u bachtalo tumaro Maškarthemutno Romano džives!
Representatives of the country’s Olah Romanies elected a new king in the
town of Hradec Králové on Saturday. Their new monarch is to be
fifty-two-year- old entrepreneur Robert Beneš from Brno. Although Benes
was elected by Olah representatives from dozens of towns and cities, he may
not be accepted by all Olah Romanies.
The leader of the Dawn party, Tomio Okamura, said one of his party’s
candidates in the European elections, Klára Samková, had “not a drop of
Gypsy blood” in her veins. Ms Samková has worked as attorney for a
number of Romany clients and was married to a Romany man. Mr Okamura made
the comment on Facebook when asked why the party, known for its anti-Romany
rhetoric, had fielded Ms Samková for the election.
Overcoming the language barrier is one of the main hurdles Romany children
face on starting school and is one of the oft-cited reasons for putting
them in “special schools” for children with learning disabilities.
Deputies in the lower house are now engaged in a debate on whether to
introduce a special dual-language curriculum for Romany children.
The opposition TOP 09 party has produced a plan under which children from
the Roma minority would be partly taught in the Romany language at
elementary schools. Czech Radio reported that other parties broadly backed
the idea, though some have expressed reservations over the creation of
separate Romany classes. TOP 09 say the removal of the language barrier
that some Roma children encounter when they start school would later result
in lower numbers ending up at schools for those with learning difficulties.
The party want to discuss the idea with stakeholders, while it will be
debated by the lower house’s Education Committee next month..
The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, has promised that his cabinet
will deal with the issue of discrimination against the Roma minority in the
Czech Republic, the news site novinky.cz reported. Mr. Sobotka made the
pledge in a reply to a letter the government received from the Council of
Europe’s commissioner for human rights, Nils Muižnieks, who called for
action to halt a growing number of anti-Roma demonstrations.
Photographer Chad Evans Wyatt and partners PROM Foundation have completed a
13-year look at representatives of the middle-class and professionals among
the Roma. A forceful counter to common assumption that the Roma cannot
The head of the Dawn party, MP Tomio Okamura, on Friday visited Vlastimil
Pechanec who is serving a 17-year-jail term for a racially-motivated murder
of a Romany man. Mr Okamura said he wanted to hear Pechanec’ account of the
events; he said the 2003 trial against Pechanec had been manipulated, and
would like to have the case reopened.