Inter-Romani political organisation takes new breath
At the recent meeting of the Inter-Romani organisation of Roma political parties, members conducted several radical steps. The assembled members explained that there was evidence that the current chairperson, Gezja Adam, was only interested in concentrating power in his own hands.
As a result of the meeting the members voted to remove Adam from his position, adopted several changes in the status of the organisation, and elected a new chairperson, a Roma leader and political scientist Ladislav Fyzik.
Gejza Adam, who refused to attend the meeting, believes that his recent removal as chairperson was invalid, and the conduct of the assembly illegal. He argues that according to the original status, he was the only person eligible to call the assembly meeting.
The assembly also adopted a joint strategy for Roma political parties and non-governmental organisations for the upcoming elections. To this end they elected a new body, the Council of Roma, that is designed to be the leading voice for Roma in Slovakia.
International Romani Union elected the court tribunal
On 4 March the parliament of the International Romani Union (IRU) met in Bratislava to elect seven independent Romani judges for a permanent court tribunal to be based in Stockholm, Sweden. The court is supposed to revise the activities of IRU and oversee the application of the Romani Charter. Members of the IRU who break the Charter, and especially the moral code, will be fined.
According to Jozef Konti, the chair of the Movement of Vlachiko Roma in Slovakia, who was elected as one of the judges, the IRU plans to mobilise the local Romani leaders, otherwise known as Vajdas, who maintain the moral authority in their communities. Konti believes that Vajdas should be empowered with an IRU-issued decree enabling them to communicate with the state authorities in their respective localities.
The Roma court tribunal has an especially long tradition in the western part of Slovakia. The decision of the Roma judge is better respected than the decision of the state authorities. The harshest punishment is ex-communication from the community.
Roma were supposed to destabilise the Czech Republic
A Slovak daily has reported that between 1995 and 1997 the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) conducted 15 operations that were aimed at destabilising the European Union accession countries. However, this week the prosecutor general ruled out the possibility that it was a crime of sabotage, cancelling the criminal investigation against Rudolf Ziak and a group of former SIS agents.
CER was told by a reliable source that the SIS operations were supposed to provoke the Czech Roma to a massive uprising against the Czech government. SIS hoped that the Roma protest would persuade West European states that the Czech Republic is not a democratic country and should not be accepted into NATO or EU.
Eva Sobotka, 12 March 2001
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