Czech Foreign Ministry flies Romani flag, outgoing Foreign Minister and Justice Minister meet with Roma
On the occasion of International Roma Day, the outgoing Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Martin Stropnický and outgoing Justice Minister Robert Pelikán met at the Czech Foreign Ministry on 9 April 2018 with several Romani figures. The main subject of the meeting was support for the Romani minority and improvement of interethnic coexistence and tolerance between the majority society and the Romani minority in the Czech Republic and the international context.
The Romani flag was flown on the building of the Foreign Ministry. Pelikán, who in addition to being the outgoing Justice Minister chairs the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs, and Stropnický held the meeting with Romani community representatives who are figures in public life, activists, journalists and successful entrepreneurs in the Czech Republic.
The meeting was attended, for example, by the assistant to the deputy minister for administration of the Czech Government Human Rights Section David Beňák, the commentator and musician Vojtěch Lavička, Czech Television reporter Richard Samko, activist Martina Horváthová, businessman Martin Bajger, businessman Štefan Ličartovský, boxing trainer Jan Balog, Milan Ferenc, Zdeněk Guži, Petr Tulija and others. "This was a social meeting that was a show of respect for Romani people. At the same time it highlighted how important it is to hold a dialogue. I am of the opinion that there should be more such meetings," Beňák told news server Romea.cz.
"Such events marking the occasion of International Romani Day are held worldwide and they all have one common aim - to aid us with doing our best to overcome prejudices together," the Czech Foreign Minister said. The meeting was an expression of support for the Romani minority and an opportunity for those attending to exchange opinions on how to improve interethnic coexistence and tolerance between members of the majority society and the Romani minority - not just at home in the Czech Republic, but also at the international level.
"The Czech Republic is a country based on respect for diversity and protection of the human rights of each of us irrespective of our race, skin color, ethnic and social origin or affiliation with a national minority or any other minority," the Foreign Minister emphasized. The meeting with Romani community representatives happened in the context of International Romani Day, which has been celebrated in the Czech Republic since 2001, and was connected with many other events held around the Czech Republic.
In Prague a three-day celebration culminated in Sunday's gala evening at the Archa theater, directed by the ARA ART organization with the support of others. In Brno the Romani Culture Week is underway.
Another project supporting International Romani Day and promoting awareness of Romani culture is the public reading of the names of the Romani victims of the Holocaust in 16 different towns across the Czech Republic. The events on the occasion of International Romani Day in the Czech Republic are part of the broader international dialogue that is ongoing during these days elsewhere in the world to aid comprehension about who the members of the Romani minority are.
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