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May 23, 2018
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Karel Holomek


Author's articles

Lívia Járóka (PHOTO: Leila Paul, WikiMedia Commons)
Lívia Járóka (PHOTO: Leila Paul, WikiMedia Commons)

videoEP Vice President Lívia Járóka for ROMEA TV: There are more Romani MEPs than people realize

28.4.2018 11:02 "Our biggest challenge is to keep our children in the best education," said Lívia Járóka, first-ever Roma Vice President of the European Parliament (EP), in an interview for the Roma internet television station ROMEA TV. Speaking in Brussels during EU Roma Week, the EP Vice President said that her biggest success to date has been the adoption of the European Union's Roma Strategy.

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Karel Holomek: Czech President's proposal to leave pig farm on genocide site is out of touch

13.7.2017 17:34 On 24 June, at the site of the former concentration camp for Romani people at Lety u Písku, representatives of Romani people from all over Europe assembled, supported by many official European actors in a group reportedly totalling at least 300 people. The initiators of the protest against the pig farm on that site were not Czech Roma, although members of Czech Romani communities did attend the gathering.  full story

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Karel Holomek: Inclusion in education is the same as equality

24.4.2017 10:26 Mr Marek Přibil is doing his best to convince us, for the umpteenth time, that inclusion in education is the ruin of the Czech schools. He also alleges that what he describes as an absolutely untrustworthy failure has been produced by the Social Democrats.  full story

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Karel Holomek calls on Romani voters not to re-elect Czech President Zeman

17.4.2017 11:44 Karel Holomek, the chair of the Association of Roma in Moravia (Společenství Romů na Moravě) has called on Romani voters to take advantage of their right to vote and to cast ballots in this year's Parliamentary elections and the presidential contest next year. "I profess that I would never vote for Zeman, and if I may give you some advice, as an elderly person who is 80 years old: Do not vote for him! This is not a person who will ever unite us," Holomek said in a speech given on the occasion of the launch of this year's celebrations of International Romani Day in Brno, which news server Romea.cz publishes here in full translation.
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Karel Holomek: New name of memorial at Hodonín u Kunštátu does not reflect the fact of the Romani genocide

29.3.2017 11:58 On 16 March, the daily Právo published an article about transferring responsibility for the "memorial to Romani suffering during the Second World War" to the management of the Museum of Romani Culture in Brno. The memorial commemorates the camp at Hodonín u Kunštát where predominantly Romani people who were living in Moravia at that time - 1 400 of them - were imprisoned from mid-1942 until the end of 1943.  full story

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Karel Holomek on the "social unconscious" and the Roma Spirit Awards

18.12.2016 22:04 This year's Roma Spirit Awards had to grapple with a lack of comprehension from an unanticipated party: From Romani people themselves. I have done my best to grasp what has happened and it took me a long time before I understood it.  full story

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Karel Holomek: Czech Gov't Roma Council has a new chair after cabinet reshuffle

16.11.2016 17:31 Czech Prime Minister Sobotka has replaced two of his ministers, Health Minister Svatopluk Němeček and Human Rights and Legislation Minister Jiří Dienstibier, who was also the chair of the Czech Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs. The newly-appointed Human Rights Minister is the lawyer and Social Democratic MP Jan Chvojka.  full story

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Karel Holomek: Merkel vs. Putin? Outrageous

2.9.2016 7:30 I frequently marvel at the values that are apparently held by a rather large number of people in the Czech Republic who make clear their hatreds and low instincts by protesting against God only knows whom (or why). I was most recently convinced of what those values are during German Chancellor Merkel's visit here.  full story

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Karel Holomek: Migration crisis not new, Roma migrated from Slovakia post-WWII and to Canada post-1989

31.3.2016 17:14 Last weekend the international "Dialogue in the Center of Europe" (Dialog uprostřed Evropy) conference was held in Brno, one that has traditionally been held there for many years. This year's topic was "Historical and European perspectives on the approach to refugees".  full story

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Karel Holomek: Our children, Czech and Romani, need to go to school together now more than ever

9.2.2016 21:02 Here in the Czech Republic we have all been talking about the terminology being used to describe the education of children in the primary schools. Of course, it is the impact of these education programs that has such a basic, determining influence on all of society once the children educated in these programs grow up.  full story

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Commentary by Karel Holomek: Special educators' lobby has tried to convince us for years that inclusion can't happen yet

12.1.2016 8:00 Among some of our educators the conviction predominates that inclusive education would be equivalent to the Czech schools planning to commit suicide. This has already become a kind of obsession, and some members of the special educators' lobby have been doing their best to convince us for at least 15 years that the time has not yet come for children with varying degrees of mental backwardness (mainly social backwardness) - or even for some children without any such backwardness - to be included in mainstream education.  full story

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Karel Holomek: Do Roma fall into poverty from the same causes and in the same way as everyone else?

2.12.2015 19:43 In the Czech Government's regular annual report on the state of the Romani minority, the most essential message is that as many as 115 000 people today are living in impoverished ghettos and that this number, compared to 2006, has almost doubled from the 60 000 people so afflicted then, and that currently there are as many as 600 such ghettos (excluded localities) compared to an estimated 300 then. It is also casually mentioned, along with this number, that most of these people are Romani, because, after all, this is a report on the status of the Romani minority, not just a report on the state of poverty in general.  full story

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Karel Holomek: We should approach migrants through a sober examination of the facts

4.11.2015 0:09 The most recent opinion I have come across in the broad, endless debate about the refugees and what to do with them comes from Roman Joch (Lidové noviny, 15 October). In his opinion piece, he has presented the horrifying vision of author Jean Raspail's novel The Camp of the Saints, in which European civilization is destroyed by hordes of refugees who take what they do not have away from those who are incapable of holding onto what is theirs because of some sort of chimerical kindness and limitless tolerance.  full story

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Karel Holomek: Polemic with Václav Bělohradský about post-representative society

28.7.2015 1:17 Intra muros, extra muros – inside the "walls of Rome" or outside them: That is how Václav Bělohradský discusses earlier conceptions of society in an article published in the daily Právo entitled "Without nostalgia: On post-representational democracy", and he undoubtedly is right to do so. In the piece, he says he considers multiculturalism to be an "anti-Enlightenment utopia that has been going bankrupt before the eyes of
Europeans" for the last decade.  full story

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Karel Holomek: Why might the director of the Czech Agency for Social Inclusion have been dismissed?

Brno, 24.4.2015 2:36 Czech Human Rights Minister Dienstbier has completely unexpectedly dismissed the director of the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion, Bc. Martin Šimáček. While he did not initially state the reasons for the dismissal on 17 April, he did so in a follow-up on 22 April.  full story

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Karel Holomek: Segregation is a source of crime, frustration and hatred

28.3.2015 19:45 I do not want to a priori suspect Mr Čunek of endeavoring to harm Romani people, even though he is succeeding exceptionally well at exactly that. He is being applauded on an open stage and people undoubtedly ultimately sent him back as Mayor of Vsetín and even as Senator for exactly that reason.  full story

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Karel Holomek: We cannot reconcile ourselves to segregation

23.3.2015 19:32, (ROMEA) The term "inclusive education" (inkluzívní vzdělávání) is turning up at a high frequency now and as a matter of course in all circles in the Czech Republic, both among experts and among lay people. We have all accepted it, whether we feel negatively or positively about it, without realizing that we have much more apposite, precise words already in Czech for what we might mean when we use this phrase.  full story

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Karel Holomek: The Roma are a nation! That is the key to their integration.

28.2.2015 1:50, (ROMEA) I have several basic comments to make about the opinions recently expressed about Romani people by Roman Krištof in his interview with Romea.cz. Coincidentally, this has become a big issue now, not because of the polemics around Krištof's opinions, but because the Government has just adopted, as a binding document, its Romani Integration Strategy to 2020 and, shortly before that, the lower house adopted an amendment to the Schools Act concerning the education of Romani children in the Czech schools (which has not been very successful to date).  full story

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Karel Holomek: Who "discovered" the Romani camp at Lety?

Brno, 7.2.2015 0:53, (ROMEA) I was a direct witness to the events written about by Petr Zídek in last Saturday's edition of Lidové noviny (24 January 2015) in his article "A report on the discovery of the Romani camp at Lety by Písek" ("Zpráva o objevu romského tábora v Letech u Písku"). In particular, I was a witness to the participation of the American Paul Polansky, how he has framed the events concerned and how he evaluates his own role.  full story

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Karel Holomek: Czech MP in charge of education amendment is unqualified

Brno, 20.10.2014 18:37, (ROMEA) Recently I have tried not to comment on Romani affairs, as I have the feeling it could be perceived as an obsession. However, I must respond to a recent article by Martin Shab (Varování: romské děti nejsou zvláštní - "Warning: Romani children aren't special").  full story

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