MINELRES: Romania: Bulletin DIVERS on Ethnic Minorities no. 47 (243) / December 26, 2006

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Divers Bulletin no. 47 (243) / December 26, 2006




BUCHAREST - As of Friday, December 15, ethnic minorities in Romania
started to celebrate their national day, marking "the last celebration
until Romania becomes part of the big European family, in which we will
all become minorities," according to Valentin Platon, undersecretary
within the Department for Interethnic Relations. 
During the meeting of the Department for Interethnic Relations (DRI) on
Friday, state secretary Marko Attila presented this year's results of
the department he manages. 
Marko said that DRI received RON39 million from the state budget in 2006
for national minorities' organizations and for funding inter-ethnic
programs to fight intolerance. 
>From legislative point of view, Government approved the "European
Charter for Regional or Minority Languages" providing general protection
to the languages spoken by national minorities in Romania. The protected
minority languages are Bulgarian, Czech, Croatian, German, Hungarian,
Russian, Serbian, Slovakian, Turkish and Ukrainian. 
On the other hand, Marko Attila said that the law draft on the national
minorities statute, initiated back in 2005, faced certain obstacles,
despite the support of DRI and of the national minorities MPs. 
As a result of DRI proposal, Government also approved the founding of
the Institute for Study of the National Minorities Issues, Marko said. 
He also reminded the access of national minorities in the Police,
respectively the registering of a larger number of young ethnics in the
entrance exams for the specialized institutes, as well as in the
contests for jobs in the Police. 
Marko also offered a few examples of projects that DRI was involved in,
such as the European Youth Campaign "All different, all equal" , "The
Community program for fighting discrimination," "The Interethnic Theater
Festival," "Peninsula Festival - 2006". 
The state secretary also said that DRI received financial support for
107 out of 150 projects, which covered a wide range of themes. DRI was
also in charge with editing and printing certain manuals, exercise books
and anthologies, and with the issue of supplementary materials. The
themes of interethnic projects were more generous this year compared
with the previous years, encouraging the expression of new ideas among
the young minority leaders, Marko Attila said. 
The day of national minorities in Romania was celebrated on Monday,
December 18, at the Government; the representatives of national
minorities attended a festive moment dedicated to this occasion, at the
invitation of Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu. The
representatives of ethnic minorities in Romania also presented their
costumes and customs for several day at the Minorities' winter fair, an
event organized by the Department for Interethnic Relations. 
The 20 minorities in Romania organized their stalls at the Auditorium
Hall within the National Art Museum, illustrating the spirit of their
nations. Thus, the Samovar and the Russian dolls Matrioshka were
representative for the Lipppovan stalls, while at the stall represented
by a crescent, a Turkish woman wearing a shawl was selling baklava,
knitted slippers and pillow cases with Oriental embroideries. 
Jews only brought books, many of them trying to keep the memory of the
Holocaust alive. Jewish culture was also illustrated by a dance group
that opened the show at the fair. The minorities' winter fair was
animated by the show of the Romanian music and dance groups. The special
guests of the show were Knock Out, Shukar Collective and Sistem groups. 
Author: DIVERS - http://www.divers.ro/

TIRGU-MURES -Democratic Union of ethnic Hungarians in Romania (UDMR)
president, Marko Bela, said Saturday, December 16, in front of the
Council of UDMR Union representatives, that the law draft on the statute
of national minorities became a "o tragi-comic delay" and that the
failure to adopt it is in fact a failure of the Union, Mediafax reports. 
"Instead of this law, we discover that some of us are spies, betraying
our nation, (referring to minister Nagy Zsolt - e.n.)," said Marko Bela,
adding that these delays in debating the law represent a useless tiring
of the neurons of certain UDMR representatives. He referred to the
minorities law draft as to "one of the significant failures" of UDMR. 
He said the essential desiderates of the Hungarians have to be accepted
- the statute law, the autonomy - adding that they are a community made
of two million people working and paying taxes, and represent a value
for Romania. 
"We want our value to be accepted. We want autonomy, the declaration
from Alba-Iulia (from 1918 - e.n.) allows our autonomy. It takes our
will and power for a law to be voted. We have the will, we have the
power, I hope we will also benefit from understanding," Marko Bela said. 
Marko Bela also said that in his opinion, the steps related to founding
the Association Pro Tinutul Secuiesc (Pro Szeklers County) observe the
law, although two prefectures filed appeals against that issue. 
Author: DIVERS - http://www.divers.ro/

CLUJ-NAPOCA - The Senate of "Babes-Bolyai" University (UBB) approved
Wednesday, December 20, the Report of the Commission of Discipline and
the proposal to dismiss lecturers Hantz Peter and Kovacs Lehel,
vice-presidents of the Bolyai Initiative Committee (CIB), according to
the law. 
"The proposal to dismiss the two persons, due to infringing the
university order and discipline, of the academic conduct norms, and of
the laws and regulations in force, was approved with 71 pros, five cons
and nine abstentions. The vote was definitely not an ethnic one," a
press release reads. 
UBB spokesperson, Cristina Nistor, said that, after the official
notification of the two lecturers, they will annul their labor
contracts, as they do not need a 15 day previous notice. 
Kovacs Lehel, one of the lecturers, considers the decision was abusive
and asks for the dismissal of rector Nicolae Bocsan. He expressed his
surprise related to the decision of UBB Senate, adding that he has just
had his salary increased by 15% and he was employed on an undetermined
period. "I think this is an abuse of power, so that I asked for the
dismissal of the rector. According to the Charter of the University, we
started to gather signatures, and if we gather the signatures of 50% of
the senators, the procedure will be included in the Senate session,"
Kovacs Lehel said. "When we receive the juridical papers, namely the
annulling of our labor contracts, we will immediately go to the court,"
Kovacs said. 
He says his most elementary constitutional rights were breached, he was
not heard by any commission, and the "unfairness and abuse of UBB
leadership" can also be proved by the fact that they refused to offer
the necessary documents to the ministerial commission coming from Cluj. 
Tuesday, September 19, the two lecturers dismissed from UBB notified the
Ombudsman, asking for an investigation in this respect. They said the
decision of UBB Senate "includes several procedural errors, like the
failure to observe certain previous decisions of UBB leadership". 
Hantz Peter said he presented the situation in front of the Foreign
Affairs Commission of the Hungarian Parliament, and Kovacs Lehel said
that Monday, he received the decision of UBB Rector's Office, informing
him he would receive a higher salary and that the duration of his labor
contract would change from determinate period to undetermined period. 
In its turn, the Ministry of Education informed Tuesday that the two
lecturers were not dismissed because they set the plates with
inscriptions in Hungarian inside Babes-Bolyai University. According to a
press release of the Education Ministry, a commission of the institution
checked Tuesday the aspects notified by UBB leadership, by the two
lecturers and by others. 
The pro-rectors of the Hungarian direction within the university
resigned by means of a unilateral act, and the didactic process develops
according to normal conditions, the document reads. 
The control commission of the ministry said their access to documents
was restricted at UBB headquarters. 
"The Ministry o Education holds the papers (addresses, notes, letters)
received from UBB, as well as from the two lecturers, describing the
situation from the parties' point of view. At the moment, we have no
information regarding a Senate's decision or a program of UBB from 2005
referring to the symbols used inside the university. The Ministry o
Education was informed about this aspect by the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs - European Union General Direction. We consider that UBB should
explain this issue as soon as possible," the quoted source said. 
Author: DIVERS - http://www.divers.ro/

CLUJ-NAPOCA - A representative of each ethnic minority, namely an ethnic
Roma, a Hungarian and a Romanian. The deputy mayor and a local
counselor. The representative of the National Agency for Ethnics Roma
and leaders of the non-governmental organizations. Common people with
specific problems. 
They all share a common problem: they all live or are related to
Hadareni, a village in Mures county that, after 1993, became a black
spot on the map of Romania. A place where people are believed to
continue to kill each other or live separately.
Anyway, things have completely changed, even if they are not perfect
During a TV debate, broadcasted by TVR Cluj on December 12, people spoke
freely and showed that they started to get organized in order to be able
to collaborate, that they try to communicate not just for forgetting the
traumas of the past but also to be able to have a better future
together. First of all, people need sewerage and paved sidewalks, jobs,
houses and churches and they hope they will manage to have all these as
soon as possible by joint forces and by governmental support. 
The TV debate represented the third stage of the program "Aware people,
responsible press," developed by Freedom House and the Balkan
Investigative Reporting Network and funded by the National Agency for
Ethnics Roma within the community development Program in Hadareni
village, Mures county. 
Author: DIVERS - http://www.divers.ro/

BUCHAREST- "Ghi romano" caravan organized by the Cultural Association
with the same name, in partnership with the Government of Romania
through the Interethnic Relations Department, crossed six towns to get
to Bucharest, holding the show "Ghi romano, gypsy soul" caravan on
Monday, December 18. 
"Ghi romano" caravan represents "the biggest project of the ethnic
Roma's customs and culture," presented in the towns Cluj-Napoca,
Tirgu-Mures, Craiova, Timisoara and Constanta. 
According to the organizers of the show, the gypsy folklore, their
customs and life were presented by professional artist but also by
The guests of the show included Marius Mihalache, Dance group "Ghi
romano," Viorica and Ionita of Clejani, as well as "Sukar taraf". 
Author: DIVERS - http://www.divers.ro/

TULCEA - On Sunday, December 17, Turk-tartars in Tulcea county
celebrated the National Day of Crimea, their country of origin, for the
first time. 
According to the president of Tulcea branch of the Democratic Union of
the Muslim Turk Tartars in Romania (UDTTMR), Adilsah Reian, the members
of the organization started to learn their history, after the Romanian
Government decided that Turk-tartars should celebrate the national day
of their country.
"We have just begun to learn our history. We know certain customs, the
songs and the dances from our parents, but now, we can say we learn them
right," said Adilsah Reian. 
The Tartars' celebration started at the headquarters of their community,
where UDTTMR representatives told their colleagues about the history of
their people. 
"We want the members of the community in Tulcea to stay the same and to
keep an oasis of the Tartar spirit here," UDTTMR MP, Amet Aledin, said. 
According to the secretary general of the organization, Memet Faruc, on
December 13, 1917, subsequent to a congress of Tartars, they proclaimed
the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. 
Two months after, the president of the republic was killed and the
Russian troops took hold of Crimea. The Tartars reached Dobrogea back in
1223, while they were heading to Turkey, and most of them stayed here,
according to professor Memet Faruc. 
The leader of the Tartars from northern Dobrogea, Adilsah Reian said
that the celebration did not take place in Tulcea on December 13 as the
members of the community attended the manifestations organized in
Constanta that day.
Author: DIVERS - http://www.divers.ro/

TIRGU MURES - On Saturday, December 16, over 20 Hungarian personalities
received the award "Silver Fir Tree" offered in the last five years by
the leadership of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (DMR).
The festivity was organized before the joint session of the Council of
Union Representatives and the Union Coordination Council. The awards
were offered to a few tens of persons in all the counties that include
Hungarian communities, at the proposal of UDMR organizations or the
president's cabinet.
UDMR president, Marko Bela, said the awards "Silver Fir Tree" for 2006
were offered to personalities that fought for regaining their land and
for carrying out the UDMR Program. "These awards reward the struggle of
the people who did their best this year for the retrocession as well as
for the economic-cultural life. We continue our work for regaining our
land," said Marko Bela. 
The 23 persons who received the awards included personalities in
Transylvania, appointed at the proposal of UDMR organizations or the
president's cabinet. 
The persons who received an award include journalist Agoston Hugo, who
has a press career of over 30 years, as he hiked the duration of
Hungarian shows at the Romanian radio, Barnek Istvan, from UDMR
Minorities Office, Galfalvi Zsolt, member in the Board of Directors of
the Romanian Television Company, and Szekely Istvan, politologist, who
manages the office network related to the implementation of the Statute
The persons awarded for merits related to the retrocession of buildings,
lands, and forests and for infrastructure development, include the mayor
of Cristuru Secuiesc, Beniovski Lajos, of Ormenis ( Brasov), Gergely
Janos, the mayor of Remetea, (Harghita), Lacko Elemer, as well as the
mayor of Frumoasa, (Harghita), Ferenc Tibor, Bonciday Csaba, the mayor
of Terecin, (Salaj), who created the organization of the micro-region
for waste, Domucz Janos, the head of the Office of Private Foresters in
Bretcu, the deputy prefect of Hunedoara, Dezsi Attila, for providing one
of his buildings for a Hungarian school in Lupeni. 
Author: DIVERS - http://www.divers.ro/

DIVERS - News bulletin about ethnic minorities living in Romania is
edited every week by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, with the
financial support of King Baudouin Foundation, Belgium and Ethnocultural
Diversity Resource Center. Partial or full reproduction of the
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