Tuesday, December 7, 2010
We the Rroma people of the world along with residents and citizens of these countries, wish to express our serious concern and disappointment and to register our protest and apprehension concerning the new incidents of racism which are being perpetuated against Rroma in Romania by the Romanian government through their elected political representative. Some of these individuals who represent high level institutions are, through their public appearances, bringing serious and misinformed accusations against the Roma people whom they are accusing of ethnic criminality. Some of these accusations were made publicly by Romanian President, Traian Basescu, who has repeatedly levelled such unfounded accusations against the Rroma people to the nation which elected him to office. We also protest other forms of humiliation levelled at Rroma by parliamentary representatives of the Romanian government. Instead of showing tolerance and respect towards its Rroma citizens, they are instead levelling insults and humiliation at the Rroma people not only the Rroma citizens of Romania, but to all Rroma in the world.
Even though Rroma have lived in Romania for well over 700 years, we are still not considered welcome. On the contrary, we are prevented from integrating into Romanian society. We have been marginalized and considered second-class citizens. We are still condemned and forced to feel shame as subhuman creatures who are considered more at the level of animals than fellow human beings. It has been this way ever since we first appeared in Romanian territory and were forced into slavery in Wallachia and Moldava.
The Romanian government and its representatives, who have the legal obligation to work constructively towards the social integration of the Rroma people, are attempting through their actions and declarations to degrade the Rroma people and to spread a false picture of who we are in the public media. By doing so, instead of improving the situation, they are inciting the Romanian public against the Rroma citizens to create further hardship for the marginalized Rroma of their society. They continue to perpetuate the misery and injustices which the Rroma have suffered throughout their history in Romania beginning in 1385 when Rroma slavery was introduced until the Emancipation of 1844 and continuing even after Rroma slavery was officially abolished. We have constantly been denied our opportunity to successfully integrate into Romanian society at large as Rroma.
The recent decision of the Romanian legislature to approve a proposal by Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) representative Silviu Prigoana, to officially change the ethnic definition of Rrom to the pejorative definition of “tigan”, a synonym of “slave,” is just one more blatant example that the current Romanian government has no respect for the Rroma people, not only in Romania but also all Rroma in the rest of the world in countries which, for the most part, guarantee their rights to ethnic identity, dignity and self-determination.
THIS NEW DECISION OF THE ROMANIAN AUTHORITIES IS ONE WHICH ATTEMPTS TO RESTRICT THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF ROMANIAN ROMA, ALSO STIGMATIZES ALL THE RROMA IN THE WORLD.
We, the Rroma from in and outside of Romania, are appalled that the Government of Romania is flagrantly violating the guaranteed fundamental rights guaranteed by the Romanian constitution and the agreement that Romania signed in order to become a member of the European Union which upholds the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
The Romanian constitution, la art.6. & 1, reiterates the following:
“The State recognises and guarantees persons who belong to national minorities the right to maintain, to develop and to express their ethnic identities, and their cultural, linguistic and religious rights.”
We strongly demand that the Government of Romania review its national political stance towards Rroma integration. We strongly ask the Romanian government to see the Rroma people as a world-wide nation without borders.
We also demand that the Romanian government reverse its present stand and do not impose upon us the definition of “tigan,” a pejorative definition that was applied to us by outsiders based on our role not as equals in Romanian society but during the period beginning in 1385 when we were enslaved in the Romanian Principalities of Moldava and Wallachia and which ended only in 1844 with the Abolition of Rroma slavery in Romania.
Furthermore, we demand that the Romanian government review this negative political decision that runs contrary to the requirements of the European Union and the United Nations regarding ethic minorities in a member state. If this negative action is implemented, it will prove to the world that the Romanian government has no interest in the constructive integration of its Rroma citizens into Romanian society and will furthermore, serve as an insult to all Rroma.
Once again, by this proposed action, Romania is proving to the international community of nations that the racism and violence against Roma which resurfaced after the fall of communism in 1989 is being officially supported and perpetuated by the current Romanian government.
We the Rroma in and outside of Romania, do not agree with the decision taken by the Romanian government, which proposes to apply to our nation an ethnic definition, which we do not recognise and strongly reject. We are Rroma – not “tigani.”
We ask everyone who recognises our right to our self-ascriptive ethnic definition of Rroma to sign this petition. We also ask people to write to the Romanian consulate in their country to demand that the Romanian government reverses its decision to deny us our proper ethnic definition, of Rroma. This proposed law is illegal in a member country of the EU and a member of the United Nations. It is also an insult to the dignity of the Rroma people of the world.
THIS PETITION HAS THE SUPPORT OF THE FOLLOWING
EMILIAN NICULAE - Rrom and not “tigan’’, human rights activist and Canadian citizen.
RONALD LEE - Rrom and not ‘’tigan’’, writer and professor at University of Toronto.
NICULAE IONUTZ - Rrom and not “tigan”, 12 grade High school student, Canadian resident.
MARIUS MUNTEANU - Rrom and not “tigan”, Canadian resident.
MUNTEANU ZENDAIDA - Rromni not “tiganca”, Canadian resident.
CONSTANTIN GINA - Rromni and not "tiganca", Lawyer, Spanish resident
ANY ROMANI WHO LIVES OUTSIDE OF ROMANIA IS ASKED TO SIGN THE PETITION
Posted by Morgan at 3:07 PM