Czech Romanies call for minister Stehlikova's dismissal
Czech Romany representatives today called for the dismissal of minister in charge of ethnic minorities and human rights Dzamila Stehlikova over her failure to resolve the situation at Litvinov's Janov housing estate, Iveta Demeterova, from Dzeno association, told CTK.
Representatives of Romanies from Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia headed by Ivan Vesely, deputy chairman of the government's council for Romany issues and chairman of Dzeno, said they were dissatisfied with Stehlikova's approach to the critical situation at Janov, mainly populated by Romanies.
However, Stehlikova said the solution did not lie in looking for mistakes in others, but in looking for a joint positive decision.
Disputes between Romanies and other residents at Litvinov's Janov housing estate have been escalating for a long time.
In February, monitoring patrols of the far-right Workers' Party appeared on Janov's streets and they became a target of local Romanies' verbal attacks.
The party staged two events in Litvinov during which extremists clashed with the police. However, the far-right radicals also met with the support from local residents.
The Romany representatives today condemned the DS's actions.They expressed their support to all decent Romanies from the Janov housing estate and denounced those Romanies who do not observe laws.
However, they also pointed out that the situation in Litvinov had not changed in the past weeks which was the reason why they demanded Stehlikova's dismissal.
"The main reason is that nothing has been done to improve the situation over the 20 months during which the problems in Janov escalated," Vesely told CTK.
Stehlikova said "all should act as one team" to resolve the situation.
"Let those people who know a solution contribute to it. Everyone should assume his own share of responsibility and work on the solution to the problem that is very serious," Stehlikova told CTK.
During the latest event organised by the Workers' Party in Litvinov, about 1000 riot policemen clashed with some 500 far-right radicals near Janov in what was probably the toughest encounter since 2000 when riots accompanied the world financial institutions' session in Prague.
Sixteen people were injured in the incident, in which a helicopter, mounted police and water cannons were deployed.
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