Roma in Ukraine call for calm: UN day march pledges support
When Roma migrants head a march up Whitehall shortly to mark UN Anti-Racism
Day they will carry a banner calling for a peaceful resolution of the crisis in
It was decided yesterday at a planning meeting for the 22 March event held at
TUC Congress House to respond in this way to an urgent appeal received from the
Roma Council of Ukraine.
"Everyone at the meeting agreed," said 8 April Movement representative
Veerendra Rishi, director of the Indian Institute of Romani Studies. "I will be
with Sikh community members at the rally."
The appeal, backed also by the Ukrainian Romani women's organization Chirikli,
expresses the need for all parties to find a civilized and balanced approach
that can prevent armed confrontation by
"We are grateful for your support", writes Zola Kondur, chairperson of
Chirikli . "Your co-operation at this time means a lot to us."
According to Chirikli, which has submitted a report to the UN Committee on
the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, between 200,000 and 300,000
Roma are presently living in Ukraine. Many have left the country due to the
failing economy and insecurity.
Among migrants to Britain has been the late Dr Boris Munyanu, from Odessa.
After receiving asylum, Dr Muntyanu in an attempt to dissuade authorities from
evicting families from their homes carried out the first independent survey of
health complaints suffered by residents at Dale Farm.
The Roma Council of Ukraine have agreed to co-ordinate with events marking
Roma Nation Day on 7 and 8 April. In both Britain and Ukraine, as across the
rest of Europe, there will be demands for curbs on violence against Roma
communities and positive action to end marginalization.
The programmes in Kiev and London are to include exhibitions about the
Holocaust, known in Romani as the Porajmos. Some 12,000 Roma were murdered at
Babi Yar, Kiev, during the Nazi occupation, as well as in the Crimea and other
JOIN THE PRO-ROMA MARCH
11am 22/3 Parliament Square
London Roma Nation Day
12 noon 7/4 St Johns Church,
Waterloo. March 3.30pm
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