Sunday, February 17, 2013
I am not sure if you have seen the interview that Hungary's ambassador to Canada, László Pordány, gave to SUN TV's Michael Coren last year, in which he stated that the country's virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Roma Jobbik Party is not far-right in nature, but is simply radical right. He also claimed that the Magyar Gárda paramilitary group had no direct connections with Jobbik, which, of course, is completely false. The interview is a textbook case of someone trying to whitewash the rise of extremism in Hungary and even defend, or legitimize a far right party.
Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQXyzwhBiUI
A Hungarian academic, Christopher Adam, stumbled upon the SUN TV interview by accident last week on YouTube and wrote about it in his online publication. Despite the fact that it came out last year, its recent discovery led to three articles in Hungary's largest daily paper, Népszabadság, including one which cited Hungarian Foreign Ministry sources as saying that the incident may have diplomatic ramifications.
In order to draw attention to this issue, Christopher Adam has launched a petition, ultimately aimed at recalling Ambassador Pordány, as well as an English-language website on this topic: http://hungarianembassy.ca .
The actual English petition can be signed here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/hungarianembassy/
The SUN TV interview is not a one-time example of very poor judgment and overt right-wing party politics on the part of the ambassador, but part of a longer series of similar incidents, as dam explains on my site. If you are interested in signing the petition, or know of others who might, we would very much appreciate your support.
As executive director of the Roma Community Centre in Toronto, I attended a meeting with Ambassador László Pordány at the Hungarian House in May 2011. When we met, Pordány was adamant that Hungarian Roma do not suffer human rights abuse and that they have come to Canada only due their 'economic situation' in Hungary. This same suggestion was made to me in a few months prior by Zoltan Balog, then Hungarian Minister of Social Inclusion, when we met at the Roma Community Centre. Due to this prior meeting, I came prepared to the meeting with Pordány knowing that he too would deny the true problem of the unrestrained war of hatred festering in Hungary. I had asked Mary Jo Leddy (a well respected, lifelong Canadian human & refugee rights advocate) to accompany me, and I showed Pordany a video clip from the neo-Nazi siege of the village of Gyongyospata during April 2011 following a Jobbik party rally, and inquired as to why the Hungarian police didn't intervene. His only response to me was "well, they are gone now". I responded with " yes, it only took three weeks and the intervention of the intervention of the Red Cross and Amnesty International before the police would moved towards ending the terror of Roma in Gyongyospata". Minister Jason Kenney met with these refugee families from this village at the Roma Community Centre in October 2011. Last year, April 2012, Ambassador Pordany attended the film screening in Ottawa of Karl Nerenberg's film about Roma refugees in Canada entitled "Never Come Back". During the Q & A following the film, a representative from the Hungarian Embassy went up on stage with a prepared speech from which he shared that the Hungarian Roma refugees have come to Canada solely because of economic conditions in Hungary. Never once did the words systemic discrimination, endemic hatred, or human rights violations ever emerge from his mouth. This February 2012, Hungary was found guilty by the International court of Human Rights of systemic discrimination from it its practice of systematically placing Roma children into schools for those with special needs.
László Pordány is a Fidesz party puppet and continues to lie to Canadians to cover up what the truth is in Hungary for the Roma minority. I support this petition 100% and sincerely hope that you will at least take the time to read it.
A petition is available at
Roma Community Centre
Roma Community Centre
1344 Bloor St. W.
Posted by Morgan at 2:52 PM