Fwd: RFE/RL: Czech Roma Divided Over Ethnic Minorities Law

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Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 11:56:19 +0300 (EEST)
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Subject: Fwd: RFE/RL: Czech Roma Divided Over Ethnic Minorities Law

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Petra Kovacs <multiethnic-owner@yahoogroups.com>

Fwd: RFE/RL: Czech Roma Divided Over Ethnic Minorities Law

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 5, No. 100, Part II, 25 May 2001

Roma are divided over the Ethnic Minorities Law approved by the
Chamber of Deputies on 23 May, "Mlada fronta Dnes," cited by CTK,
reported on 25 May. The law stipulates that the officially recognized
12 minorities may display bilingual signs in localities where they
constitute 10 percent or more of the population, if 40 percent of them
demand it. Minorities are granted the right to use their mother tongue
in official contacts with state and local administration in those
localities, and the right to be educated in their mother tongue from
nursery school level. But Hradec Kralove Romany adviser Marian Erimias
said it is more important for Roma to learn Czech in order to
integrate in society. Romany historian Bartolomej Daniel welcomed the
law, while an expert from the Brno Museum of Romany history said the
law "complicates problems" because "there are many dialects in the
Romany language and there are no language rules." MS

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