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Famous Gipsy.cz singer faces threats from Czech Romanies - press

Prague, 7.8.2007 16:33, (CTK)

Czech Romany Hip Hop singer Radek Banga from the famous Gipsy.cz group received threatening phone calls and SMS messages from Czech Romanies after his strong statements about people who do not work, the daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes today.

"Kick the bucket if you don't want to do anything," Banga said in an interview on the MfD website iDnes.cz, referring to people who do not try to get from a bad social situation by their own effort.

In the interview, he also commented on preferential treatment, job opportunities for Romanies and he criticised some Romany organisations, MfD writes.

Banga as a Hip Hop singer is known for strong statements.

Police are not investigating the threats and Banga has not asked for any protection. "This would be no solution. Nothing would be revealed anyway. And first of all, I don't want to act against my own people," Banga told the paper.

Many Romany activists understand Banga's views, but they resent his vocabulary, MfD writes.

"Radek had a good intention," Vojtech Lavicka, violinist from the Gipsy.cz band, said about Banga. "But if he wants to help minorities, he'll have to use less strong words," Lavicka added.

Lavicka, 35, is a Romany activist who tries to persuade people who are threatened with exclusion from the majority society to take an active stance in life.

Earlier this year, Gipsy.cz's CD Romano Hip Hop advanced to the European world music top ten. The band is very popular in the Czech Republic among young people.

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